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Microb Cell Fact. 2011 Aug 30;10 Suppl 1:S18. doi: 10.1186/1475-2859-10-S1-S18. Epub 2011 Aug 30.

Investigation of the adaptation of Lactococcus lactis to isoleucine starvation integrating dynamic transcriptome and proteome information.

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  • 1Université de Toulouse; INSA, UPS, INP; LISBP, 135 Avenue de Rangueil, F-31077 Toulouse, France.



Amino acid assimilation is crucial for bacteria and this is particularly true for Lactic Acid Bacteria (LAB) that are generally auxotroph for amino acids. The global response of the LAB model Lactococcus lactis ssp. lactis was characterized during progressive isoleucine starvation in batch culture using a chemically defined medium in which isoleucine concentration was fixed so as to become the sole limiting nutriment. Dynamic analyses were performed using transcriptomic and proteomic approaches and the results were analysed conjointly with fermentation kinetic data.


The response was first deduced from transcriptomic analysis and corroborated by proteomic results. It occurred progressively and could be divided into three major mechanisms: (i) a global down-regulation of processes linked to bacterial growth and catabolism (transcription, translation, carbon metabolism and transport, pyrimidine and fatty acid metabolism), (ii) a specific positive response related to the limiting nutrient (activation of pathways of carbon or nitrogen metabolism and leading to isoleucine supply) and (iii) an unexpected oxidative stress response (positive regulation of aerobic metabolism, electron transport, thioredoxin metabolism and pyruvate dehydrogenase). The involvement of various regulatory mechanisms during this adaptation was analysed on the basis of transcriptomic data comparisons. The global regulator CodY seemed specifically dedicated to the regulation of isoleucine supply. Other regulations were massively related to growth rate and stringent response.


This integrative biology approach provided an overview of the metabolic pathways involved during isoleucine starvation and their regulations. It has extended significantly the physiological understanding of the metabolism of L. lactis ssp. lactis. The approach can be generalised to other conditions and will contribute significantly to the identification of the biological processes involved in complex regulatory networks of micro-organisms.

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