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Proteome Sci. 2009 Aug 28;7:30. doi: 10.1186/1477-5956-7-30.

Proteomic profiling of L-cysteine induced selenite resistance in Enterobacter sp. YSU.

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1
Department of Biological Sciences, Youngstown State University, OH 44555, USA. a_jasenec@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Enterobacter sp. YSU is resistant to several different heavy metal salts, including selenite. A previous study using M-9 minimal medium showed that when the selenite concentration was 100,000 times higher than the sulfate concentration, selenite entered Escherichia coli cells using two pathways: a specific and a non-specific pathway. In the specific pathway, selenite entered the cells through a yet to be characterized channel dedicated for selenite. In the non-specific pathway, selenite entered the cells through a sulfate permease channel. Addition of L-cystine, an L-cysteine dimer, appeared to indirectly decrease selenite import into the cell through the non-specific pathway. However, it did not affect the level of selenite transport into the cell through the specific pathway.

RESULTS:

Growth curves using M-9 minimal medium containing 40 mM selenite and 1 mM sulfate showed that Enterobacter sp. YSU grew when L-cysteine was present but died when it was absent. Differential protein expression analysis by two dimensional gel electrophoresis showed that CysK was present in cultures containing selenite and lacking L-cysteine but absent in cultures containing both selenite and L-cysteine. Additional RT-PCR studies demonstrated that transcripts for the sulfate permease genes, cysA, cysT and cysW, were down-regulated in the presence of L-cysteine.

CONCLUSION:

L-cysteine appeared to confer selenite resistance upon Enterobacter sp. YSU by decreasing the level of selenite transport into the cell through the non-specific pathway.

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