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Mol Syst Biol. 2008;4:225. doi: 10.1038/msb.2008.63. Epub 2008 Nov 4.

The temporal response of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene regulatory network during growth arrest.

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1
Department of Systems Biology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX 77054, USA. gbalazsi@mdanderson.org

Abstract

The virulence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis depends on the ability of the bacilli to switch between replicative (growth) and non-replicative (dormancy) states in response to host immunity. However, the gene regulatory events associated with transition to dormancy are largely unknown. To address this question, we have assembled the largest M. tuberculosis transcriptional-regulatory network to date, and characterized the temporal response of this network during adaptation to stationary phase and hypoxia, using published microarray data. Distinct sets of transcriptional subnetworks (origons) were responsive at various stages of adaptation, showing a gradual progression of network response under both conditions. Most of the responsive origons were in common between the two conditions and may help define a general transcriptional signature of M. tuberculosis growth arrest. These results open the door for a systems-level understanding of transition to non-replicative persistence, a phenotypic state that prevents sterilization of infection by the host immune response and promotes the establishment of latent M. tuberculosis infection, a condition found in two billion people worldwide.

PMID:
18985025
PMCID:
PMC2600667
DOI:
10.1038/msb.2008.63
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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