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Cell Biol Toxicol. 2015 Feb;31(1):39-81. doi: 10.1007/s10565-015-9294-9. Epub 2015 Mar 10.

Early gene expression in Pseudomonas fluorescens exposed to a polymetallic solution.

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Department of Plant Biology and Ecology, University of the Basque Country, UPV/EHU, P.O. Box 644, E-48080, Bilbao, Spain,


The molecular response of Pseudomonas fluorescens cells exposed to a mixture of heavy metals remains largely unknown. Here, we studied the temporal changes in the early gene expression of P. fluorescens cells exposed to three doses of a polymetallic solution over two exposure times, through the application of a customized cDNA microarray. At the lowest metal dose (MD/4), we observed a repression of the Hsp70 chaperone system, MATE and MFS transporters, TonB membrane transporter and histidine kinases, together with an overexpression of metal transport (ChaC, CopC), chemotaxis and glutamine synthetase genes. At the intermediate metal dose (MD), several amino acid transporters, a response regulator (CheY), a TonB-dependent receptor and the mutT DNA repair gene were repressed; by contrast, an overexpression of genes associated with the antioxidative stress system and the transport of chelates and sulfur was observed. Finally, at the highest metal dose (4MD), a repression of genes encoding metal ion transporters, drug resistance and alginate biosynthesis was found, together with an overexpression of genes encoding antioxidative proteins, membrane transporters, ribosomal proteins, chaperones and proteases. It was concluded that P. fluorescens cells showed, over exposure time, a highly complex molecular response when exposed to a polymetallic solution, involving mechanisms related with chemotaxis, signal transmission, membrane transport, cellular redox state, and the regulation of transcription and ribosomal activity.

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