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J Bacteriol. 2003 Jul;185(13):3935-47.

Whole-genome DNA microarray analysis of a hyperthermophile and an archaeon: Pyrococcus furiosus grown on carbohydrates or peptides.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and Center for Metalloenzyme Studies, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA.


The first complete-genome DNA microarray was constructed for a hyperthermophile or a nonhalophilic archaeon by using the 2,065 open reading frames (ORFs) that have been annotated in the genome of Pyrococcus furiosus (optimal growth temperature, 100 degrees C). This was used to determine relative transcript levels in cells grown at 95 degrees C with either peptides or a carbohydrate (maltose) used as the primary carbon source. Approximately 20% (398 of 2065) of the ORFs did not appear to be significantly expressed under either growth condition. Of the remaining 1,667 ORFs, the expression of 125 of them (8%) differed by more than fivefold between the two cultures, and 82 of the 125 (65%) appear to be part of operons, indicating extensive coordinate regulation. Of the 27 operons that are regulated, 5 of them encode (conserved) hypothetical proteins. A total of 18 operons are up-regulated (greater than fivefold) in maltose-grown cells, including those responsible for maltose transport and for the biosynthesis of 12 amino acids, of ornithine, and of citric acid cycle intermediate products. A total of nine operons are up-regulated (greater than fivefold) in peptide-grown cells, including those encoding enzymes involved in the production of acyl and aryl acids and 2-ketoacids, which are used for energy conservation. Analyses of the spent growth media confirmed the production of branched-chain and aromatic acids during growth on peptides. In addition, six nonlinked enzymes in the pathways of sugar metabolism were regulated more than fivefold--three in maltose-grown cells that are unique to the unusual glycolytic pathway and three in peptide-grown cells that are unique to gluconeogenesis. The catalytic activities of 16 metabolic enzymes whose expression appeared to be highly regulated in the two cell types correlated very well with the microarray data. The degree of coordinate regulation revealed by the microarray data was unanticipated and shows that P. furiosus can readily adapt to a change in its primary carbon source.

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