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Microbes Infect. 2005 Mar;7(3):335-48. Epub 2005 Feb 10.

DNA microarray analysis of the heat- and cold-shock stimulons in Yersinia pestis.

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Laboratory of Analytical Microbiology, National Center for Biomedical Analysis, Army Center for Microbial Detection and Research, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences (AMMS), Beijing 100071, China.


DNA microarray was used as a tool to define the heat- and cold-shock stimulons in Yersinia pestis. Heat shock dramatically enhanced the transcription of genes encoding major heat-shock proteins (MHSPs) that are important for cell survival against the heat. Many other genes were also greatly up-regulated, but their roles in heat-shock response need to be elucidated. Meanwhile, heat shock retarded most of the metabolic processes, i.e. RNA transcription, protein translation, aerobic respiration, energy metabolism, small molecule metabolism, peptidoglycan biosynthesis, sulfate uptake and cysteine biosynthesis. In response to cold shock, Y. pestis has evolved complex adaptive mechanisms by elevating the transcription of a specific set of genes whose protein products are designed to prevent or eliminate cold-induced DNA or RNA structuring, to remodel cell membrane components for maintenance of normal functions, to elevate the energy generation for ensuring ATP-dependent responses during cold adaptation and to synthesize or transport compatible solutes such as cryoprotectants, and at the same time, by repressing the mRNA level of certain genes whose protein products are not needed for bacterial growth at low temperatures, such as the MHSPs. These results provide a set of new candidate genes for hypothesis-based investigations of their roles in stress response, host adaptation and pathogenicity of this deadly pathogen.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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