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Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek. 2006 Jul;90(1):41-55. Epub 2006 May 6.

Oxidative stress and heat-shock responses in Desulfovibrio vulgaris by genome-wide transcriptomic analysis.

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Microbiology Department, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 902 Battelle Boulevard, P.O. Box 999, Richland, WA 99352, USA.


Sulfate-reducing bacteria such as Desulfovibrio vulgaris have developed a set of responses that allow them to survive in hostile environments. To obtain further knowledge of the protective mechanisms employed by D. vulgaris in response to oxidative stress and heat shock, we performed a genome-wide transcriptomic analysis to determine the cellular responses to both stimuli. The results showed that 130 genes were responsive to oxidative stress, while 427 genes were responsive to heat-shock. Functional analyses suggested that the genes regulated were involved in a variety of cellular functions. Amino acid biosynthetic pathways were induced by both oxidative stress and heat shock treatments, while fatty acid metabolism, purine and cofactor biosynthesis were induced by heat shock only. The rubrerythrin gene (rbr) was up-regulated in response to oxidative stress, suggesting an important role for this protein in the oxidative damage resistance response in D. vulgaris. In addition, thioredoxin reductase (trxB) was also responsive to oxidative stress, suggesting that the thiol-specific redox system might also be involved in oxidative protection in this organism. In contrast, the expression of rubredoxin oxidoreductase (rbo), superoxide dismutase (sodB) and catalase (katA) genes were not regulated in response to oxidative stress. Comparison of cellular responses to oxidative stress and heat-shock allowed the identification of 66 genes that showed a similar drastic response to both environmental perturbations, implying that these genes might be part of the general stress response (GSR) network in D. vulgaris. This hypothesis was further supported by the identification of a conserved motif upstream of these stress-responsive genes.

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