Characterization of a mycobacterial cellulase and its impact on biofilm- and drug-induced cellulose production

Niël Van Wyk, David Navarro, Mickaël Blaise, Jean Guy Berrin, Bernard Henrissat, Michel Drancourt, Laurent Kremer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Citations (Scopus)


It was recently shown that Mycobacterium tuberculosis produces cellulose which forms an integral part of its extracellular polymeric substances within a biofilm set-up. Using Mycobacterium smegmatis as a proxy model organism, we demonstrate that M. smegmatis biofilms treated with purified MSMEG_6752 releases the main cellulose degradation-product (cellobiose), detected by using ionic chromatography, suggesting that MSMEG_6752 encodes a cellulase. Its overexpression in M. smegmatis prevents spontaneous biofilm formation. Moreover, the method reported here allowed detecting cellobiose when M. smegmatis cultures were exposed to a subinhibitory dose of rifampicin. Overall, this study highlights the role of the MSMEG_6752 in managing cellulose production induced during biofilm formation and antibiotic stress response.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)392-399
Number of pages8
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • biofilm
  • cellulase
  • cellulose
  • Mycobacterium
  • rifampicin

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