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J Bacteriol. 2000 Jun;182(11):3285-8.

Restart of exponential growth of cold-shocked Yersinia enterocolitica occurs after down-regulation of cspA1/A2 mRNA.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie, FML-Weihenstephan, Technische Universität München, D-85350 Freising, Germany.


The cellular content of major cold shock protein (MCSP) mRNA transcribed from the tandem gene duplication cspA1/A2 and growth of Yersinia enterocolitica were compared when exponentially growing cultures of this bacterium were cold shocked from 30 to 20, 15, 10, 5, or 0 degrees C, respectively. A clear correlation between the time point when exponential growth resumes after cold shock and the degradation of cspA1/A2 mRNA was found. A polynucleotide phosphorylase-deficient mutant was unable to degrade cspA1/A2 mRNA properly and showed a delay, as well as a lower rate, of growth after cold shock. For this mutant, a correlation between decreasing cspA1/A2 mRNA and restart of growth after cold shock was also observed. For both wild-type and mutant cells, no correlation of restart of growth with the cellular content of MCSPs was found. We suggest that, after synthesis of cold shock proteins and cold adaptation of the cells, MCSP mRNAs must be degraded; otherwise, they trap ribosomes, prevent translation of bulk mRNA, and thus inhibit growth of this bacterium at low temperatures.

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