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Transcriptomic analysis of Shiga-toxigenic bacteriophage carriage reveals a profound regulatory effect on acid resistance in Escherichia coli.


ABSTRACT: Shiga-toxigenic bacteriophages are converting lambdoid phages that impart the ability to produce Shiga toxin to their hosts. Little is known about the function of most of the genes carried by these phages or the impact that lysogeny has on the Escherichia coli host. Here we use next-generation sequencing to compare the transcriptomes of E. coli strains infected with an Stx phage, before and after triggering of the bacterial SOS response that initiates the lytic cycle of the phage. We were able to discriminate between bacteriophage genes expressed in the lysogenic and lytic cycles, and we describe transcriptional changes that occur in the bacterial host as a consequence of Stx phage carriage. Having identified upregulation of the glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) operon, confirmed by reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR), we used phenotypic assays to establish the ability of the Stx prophage to confer a greater acid resistance phenotype on the E. coli host. Known phage regulators were overexpressed in E. coli, and the acid resistance of the recombinant strains was tested. The phage-encoded transcriptional regulator CII was identified as the controller of the acid response in the lysogen. Infection of an E. coli O157 strain, from which integrated Stx prophages were previously removed, showed increased acid resistance following infection with a nontoxigenic phage, ?24B. In addition to demonstrating this link between Stx phage carriage and E. coli acid resistance, with its implications for survival postingestion, the data set provides a number of other potential insights into the impact of lambdoid phage carriage on the biology of E. coli.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4651098 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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