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PLoS One. 2008 May 7;3(5):e2097. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0002097.

Uncovering genes with divergent mRNA-protein dynamics in Streptomyces coelicolor.

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Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States of America.


Many biological processes are intrinsically dynamic, incurring profound changes at both molecular and physiological levels. Systems analyses of such processes incorporating large-scale transcriptome or proteome profiling can be quite revealing. Although consistency between mRNA and proteins is often implicitly assumed in many studies, examples of divergent trends are frequently observed. Here, we present a comparative transcriptome and proteome analysis of growth and stationary phase adaptation in Streptomyces coelicolor, taking the time-dynamics of process into consideration. These processes are of immense interest in microbiology as they pertain to the physiological transformations eliciting biosynthesis of many naturally occurring therapeutic agents. A shotgun proteomics approach based on mass spectrometric analysis of isobaric stable isotope labeled peptides (iTRAQ) enabled identification and rapid quantification of approximately 14% of the theoretical proteome of S. coelicolor. Independent principal component analyses of this and DNA microarray-derived transcriptome data revealed that the prominent patterns in both protein and mRNA domains are surprisingly well correlated. Despite this overall correlation, by employing a systematic concordance analysis, we estimated that over 30% of the analyzed genes likely exhibited significantly divergent patterns, of which nearly one-third displayed even opposing trends. Integrating this data with biological information, we discovered that certain groups of functionally related genes exhibit mRNA-protein discordance in a similar fashion. Our observations suggest that differences between mRNA and protein synthesis/degradation mechanisms are prominent in microbes while reaffirming the plausibility of such mechanisms acting in a concerted fashion at a protein complex or sub-pathway level.

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