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J Biotechnol. 2006 Dec 15;127(1):21-33. Epub 2006 Jun 30.

Under the influence of the active deodorant ingredient 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol, the skin bacterium Corynebacterium jeikeium moderately responds with differential gene expression.

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  • 1Institut für Genomforschung, Centrum für Biotechnologie, Universität Bielefeld, Universitätsstrasse 25, D-33615 Bielefeld, Germany.


A 70mer oligonucleotide microarray was constructed to analyze genome-wide expression profiles of Corynebacterium jeikeium, a skin bacterium that is predominantly present in the human axilla and involved in axillary odor formation. Oligonucleotides representing 100% of the predicted coding regions of the C. jeikeium K411 genome were designed and spotted in quadruplicate onto epoxy-coated glass slides. The quality of the printed microarray was demonstrated by co-hybridization with fluorescently labeled cDNA probes obtained from exponentially growing C. jeikeium cultures. Accordingly, genes detected with different intensities resulting in log(2) transformed ratios greater than 0.8 or smaller than -0.8 can be regarded as differentially expressed with a confidence level greater than 99%. In an application example, we measured global changes of gene expression during growth of C. jeikeium in the presence of different concentrations of the deodorant component 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol that is active in preventing body odor formation. Global expression profiling revealed that low concentrations of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol (0.5 and 2.5mg/ml) had almost no detectable effect on the transcriptome of C. jeikeium. A slightly higher concentration of 4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzyl alcohol (5mg/ml) resulted in differential expression of 95 genes, 86 of which showed an enhanced expression when compared to a control culture. Besides many genes encoding proteins that apparently participate in transcription and translation, the drug resistance determinant cmx and the predicted virulence factors sapA and sapD showed significantly enhanced expression levels. Differential expression of relevant genes was validated by real-time reverse transcription PCR assays.

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