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Environ Microbiol. 2017 Feb;19(2):628-644. doi: 10.1111/1462-2920.13578. Epub 2016 Dec 8.

Proteomic and transcriptomic investigations on cold-responsive properties of the psychrophilic Antarctic bacterium Psychrobacter sp. PAMC 21119 at subzero temperatures.

Koh HY1,2, Park H1,3, Lee JH1,3, Han SJ1,3, Sohn YC2, Lee SG1,3.

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Unit of Polar Genomics Korea Polar Research Institute, Incheon, South Korea.
Department of Marine Molecular Biotechnology, Gangneung-Wonju National University, Gangneung, South Korea.
Department of Polar Sciences, University of Science and Technology, Incheon, South Korea.


Psychrobacter sp. PAMC 21119, isolated from Antarctic permafrost soil, grows and proliferates at subzero temperatures. However, its major mechanism of cold adaptation regulation remains poorly understood. We investigated the transcriptomic and proteomic responses of this species to cold temperatures by comparing profiles at -5°C and 20°C to understand how extreme microorganisms survive under subzero conditions. We found a total of 2,906 transcripts and 584 differentially expressed genes (≥ twofold, P <0.005) by RNA-seq. Genes for translation, ribosomal structure and biogenesis were upregulated, and lipid transport and metabolism was downregulated at low temperatures. A total of 60 protein spots (≥ 1.8 fold, P < 0.005) showed differential expression on two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and the proteins were identified by mass spectrometry. The most prominent upregulated proteins in response to cold were involved in metabolite transport, protein folding and membrane fluidity. Proteins involved in energy production and conversion, and heme protein synthesis were downregulated. Moreover, isoform exchange of cold-shock proteins was detected at both temperatures. Interestingly, pathways for acetyl-CoA metabolism, putrescine synthesis and amino acid metabolism were upregulated. This study highlights some of the strategies and different physiological states that Psychrobacter sp. PAMC 21119 has developed to adapt to the cold environment in Antarctica.

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