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PLoS One. 2010 Jul 16;5(7):e11622. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0011622.

Characterization of a Clp protease gene regulator and the reaeration response in Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Seattle Biomedical Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MTB) enters a non-replicating state when exposed to low oxygen tension, a condition the bacillus encounters in granulomas during infection. Determining how mycobacteria enter and maintain this state is a major focus of research. However, from a public health standpoint the importance of latent TB is its ability to reactivate. The mechanism by which mycobacteria return to a replicating state upon re-exposure to favorable conditions is not understood. In this study, we utilized reaeration from a defined hypoxia model to characterize the adaptive response of MTB following a return to favorable growth conditions. Global transcriptional analysis identified the approximately 100 gene Reaeration Response, induced relative to both log-phase and hypoxic MTB. This response includes chaperones and proteases, as well as the transcription factor Rv2745c, which we characterize as a Clp protease gene regulator (ClgR) orthologue. During reaeration, genes repressed during hypoxia are also upregulated in a wave of transcription that includes genes crucial to transcription, translation and oxidative phosphorylation and culminates in bacterial replication. In sum, this study defines a new transcriptional response of MTB with potential relevance to disease, and implicates ClgR as a regulator involved in resumption of replication following hypoxia.

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