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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 17;9(10):e110215. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110215. eCollection 2014.

Global transcriptome and physiological responses of Acinetobacter oleivorans DR1 exposed to distinct classes of antibiotics.

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Laboratory of Molecular Environmental Microbiology, Department of Environmental Science and Ecological Engineering, Korea University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
Department of Life Science, Dongguk University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The effects of antibiotics on environment-originated nonpathogenic Acinetobacter species have been poorly explored. To understand the antibiotic-resistance mechanisms that function in nonpathogenic Acinetobacter species, we used an RNA-sequencing (RNA-seq) technique to perform global gene-expression profiling of soil-borne Acinetobacter oleivorans DR1 after exposing the bacteria to 4 classes of antibiotics (ampicillin, Amp; kanamycin, Km; tetracycline, Tc; norfloxacin, Nor). Interestingly, the well-known two global regulators, the soxR and the rpoE genes are present among 41 commonly upregulated genes under all 4 antibiotic-treatment conditions. We speculate that these common genes are essential for antibiotic resistance in DR1. Treatment with the 4 antibiotics produced diverse physiological and phenotypic changes. Km treatment induced the most dramatic phenotypic changes. Examination of mutation frequency and DNA-repair capability demonstrated the induction of the SOS response in Acinetobacter especially under Nor treatment. Based on the RNA-seq analysis, the glyoxylate-bypass genes of the citrate cycle were specifically upregulated under Amp treatment. We also identified newly recognized non-coding small RNAs of the DR1 strain, which were also confirmed by Northern blot analysis. These results reveal that treatment with antibiotics of distinct classes differentially affected the gene expression and physiology of DR1 cells. This study expands our understanding of the molecular mechanisms of antibiotic-stress response of environment-originated bacteria and provides a basis for future investigations.

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