Project description:Chlorinated water is commonly used in industrial operations to wash and sanitize fresh-cut, minimally processed produce. Here we compared 42 human outbreak strains that represented nine distinct Escherichia coli O157:H7 genetic lineages (or clades) for their relative resistance to chlorine treatment. A quantitative measurement of resistance was made by comparing the extension of the lag phase during growth of each strain under exposure to sublethal concentrations of sodium hypochlorite in Luria-Bertani or brain heart infusion broth. Strains in clade 8 showed significantly (P < 0.05) higher resistance to chlorine than strains from other clades of E. coli O157:H7. To further explore how E. coli O157:H7 responds to oxidative stress at transcriptional levels, we analyzed the global gene expression profiles of two strains, TW14359 (clade 8; associated with the 2006 spinach outbreak) and Sakai (clade 1; associated with the 1996 radish sprout outbreak), under sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide treatment. We found over 380 genes were differentially expressed (more than twofold; P < 0.05) after exposure to low levels of chlorine or hydrogen peroxide. Significantly upregulated genes included several regulatory genes responsive to oxidative stress, genes encoding putative oxidoreductases, and genes associated with cysteine biosynthesis, iron-sulfur cluster assembly, and antibiotic resistance. Identification of E. coli O157:H7 strains with enhanced resistance to chlorine decontamination and analysis of their transcriptomic response to oxidative stress may improve our basic understanding of the survival strategy of this human enteric pathogen on fresh produce during minimal processing.
Project description:Environmental fluctuations lead to a rapid adjustment of the physiology of Escherichia coli, necessitating changes on every level of the underlying cellular and molecular network. Thus far, the majority of global analyses of E. coli stress responses have been limited to just one level, gene expression. Here, we incorporate the metabolite composition together with gene expression data to provide a more comprehensive insight on system level stress adjustments by describing detailed time-resolved E. coli response to five different perturbations (cold, heat, oxidative stress, lactose diauxie, and stationary phase). The metabolite response is more specific as compared with the general response observed on the transcript level and is reflected by much higher specificity during the early stress adaptation phase and when comparing the stationary phase response to other perturbations. Despite these differences, the response on both levels still follows the same dynamics and general strategy of energy conservation as reflected by rapid decrease of central carbon metabolism intermediates coinciding with downregulation of genes related to cell growth. Application of co-clustering and canonical correlation analysis on combined metabolite and transcript data identified a number of significant condition-dependent associations between metabolites and transcripts. The results confirm and extend existing models about co-regulation between gene expression and metabolites demonstrating the power of integrated systems oriented analysis.
Project description:An integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analysis was undertaken to determine the physiological response of Escherichia coli O157:H7 Sakai to steady-state conditions relevant to low temperature and water activity conditions experienced during meat carcass chilling in cold air. The response of E. coli during exponential growth at 25 °C a(w) 0.985, 14 °C a(w) 0.985, 25 °C a(w) 0.967, and 14 °C a(w) 0.967 was compared with that of a reference culture (35 °C a(w) 0.993). Gene and protein expression profiles of E. coli were more strongly affected by low water activity (a(w) 0.967) than by low temperature (14 °C). Predefined group enrichment analysis revealed that a universal response of E. coli to all test conditions included activation of the master stress response regulator RpoS and the Rcs phosphorelay system involved in the biosynthesis of the exopolysaccharide colanic acid, as well as down-regulation of elements involved in chemotaxis and motility. However, colanic acid-deficient mutants were shown to achieve comparable growth rates to their wild-type parents under all conditions, indicating that colanic acid is not required for growth. In contrast to the transcriptomic data, the proteomic data revealed that several processes involved in protein synthesis were down-regulated in overall expression at 14 °C a(w) 0.985, 25 °C a(w) 0.967, and 14 °C a(w) 0.967. This result suggests that during growth under these conditions, E. coli, although able to transcribe the required mRNA, may lack the cellular resources required for translation. Elucidating the global adaptive response of E. coli O157:H7 during exposure to chilling and water activity stress has provided a baseline of knowledge of the physiology of this pathogen.
Project description:Bacteria grown in space experiments under microgravity conditions have been found to undergo unique physiological responses, ranging from modified cell morphology and growth dynamics to a putative increased tolerance to antibiotics. A common theory for this behavior is the loss of gravity-driven convection processes in the orbital environment, resulting in both reduction of extracellular nutrient availability and the accumulation of bacterial byproducts near the cell. To further characterize the responses, this study investigated the transcriptomic response of Escherichia coli to both microgravity and antibiotic concentration. E. coli was grown aboard International Space Station in the presence of increasing concentrations of the antibiotic gentamicin with identical ground controls conducted on Earth. Here we show that within 49 h of being cultured, E. coli adapted to grow at higher antibiotic concentrations in space compared to Earth, and demonstrated consistent changes in expression of 63 genes in response to an increase in drug concentration in both environments, including specific responses related to oxidative stress and starvation response. Additionally, we find 50 stress-response genes upregulated in response to the microgravity when compared directly to the equivalent concentration in the ground control. We conclude that the increased antibiotic tolerance in microgravity may be attributed not only to diminished transport processes, but also to a resultant antibiotic cross-resistance response conferred by an overlapping effect of stress response genes. Our data suggest that direct stresses of nutrient starvation and acid-shock conveyed by the microgravity environment can incidentally upregulate stress response pathways related to antibiotic stress and in doing so contribute to the increased antibiotic stress tolerance observed for bacteria in space experiments. These results provide insights into the ability of bacteria to adapt under extreme stress conditions and potential strategies to prevent antimicrobial-resistance in space and on Earth.
Project description:We have previously reported that supplementation of exogenous glutathione (GSH) promotes ciprofloxacin resistance in Escherichia coli by neutralizing antibiotic-induced oxidative stress and by enhancing the efflux of antibiotic. In the present study, we used a whole-genome microarray as a tool to analyze the system-level transcriptomic changes of E. coli on exposure to GSH and/or ciprofloxacin. The microarray data revealed that GSH supplementation affects redox function, transport, acid shock, and virulence genes of E. coli. The data further highlighted the interplay of multiple underlying stress response pathways (including those associated with the genes mentioned above and DNA damage repair genes) at the core of GSH, offsetting the effect of ciprofloxacin in E. coli. The results of a large-scale validation of the transcriptomic data using reverse transcription-quantitative PCR (RT-qPCR) analysis for 40 different genes were mostly in agreement with the microarray results. The altered growth profiles of 12 different E. coli strains carrying deletions in the specific genes mentioned above with GSH and/or ciprofloxacin supplementation implicate these genes in the GSH-mediated phenotype not only at the molecular level but also at the functional level. We further associated GSH supplementation with increased acid shock survival of E. coli on the basis of our transcriptomic data. Taking the data together, it can be concluded that GSH supplementation influences the expression of genes of multiple stress response pathways apart from its effect(s) at the physiological level to counter the action of ciprofloxacin in E. coli. IMPORTANCE The emergence and spread of multidrug-resistant bacterial strains have serious medical and clinical consequences. In addition, the rate of discovery of new therapeutic antibiotics has been inadequate in last few decades. Fluoroquinolone antibiotics such as ciprofloxacin represent a precious therapeutic resource in the fight against bacterial pathogens. However, these antibiotics have been gradually losing their appeal due to the emergence and buildup of resistance to them. In this report, we shed light on the genome-level expression changes in bacteria with respect to glutathione (GSH) exposure which act as a trigger for fluoroquinolone antibiotic resistance. The knowledge about different bacterial stress response pathways under conditions of exposure to the conditions described above and potential points of cross talk between them could help us in understanding and formulating the conditions under which buildup and spread of antibiotic resistance could be minimized. Our findings are also relevant because GSH-induced genome-level expression changes have not been reported previously for E. coli.
Project description:Assimilation of nitrogen is an essential process in bacteria. The nitrogen regulation stress response is an adaptive mechanism used by nitrogen-starved Escherichia coli to scavenge for alternative nitrogen sources and requires the global transcriptional regulator NtrC.
Project description:Assimilation of nitrogen is an essential process in bacteria. The nitrogen regulation stress response is an adaptive mechanism used by nitrogen-starved Escherichia coli to scavenge for alternative nitrogen sources and requires the global transcriptional regulator NtrC. In addition, nitrogen-starved E. coli cells synthesize a signal molecule, guanosine tetraphosphate (ppGpp), which serves as an effector molecule of many processes including transcription to initiate global physiological changes, collectively termed the stringent response. The regulatory mechanisms leading to elevated ppGpp levels during nutritional stresses remain elusive. Here, we show that transcription of relA, a key gene responsible for the synthesis of ppGpp, is activated by NtrC during nitrogen starvation. The results reveal that NtrC couples these two major bacterial stress responses to manage conditions of nitrogen limitation, and provide novel mechanistic insights into how a specific nutritional stress leads to elevating ppGpp levels in bacteria.
Project description:Campylobacter spp. are one of the most important food-borne pathogens, which are quite susceptible to environmental or technological stressors compared to other zoonotic bacteria. This might be due to the lack of many stress response mechanisms described in other bacteria. Nevertheless, Campylobacter is able to survive in the environment and food products. Although some aspects of the heat stress response in Campylobacter jejuni are already known, information about the stress response in other Campylobacter species are still scarce. In this study, the stress response of Campylobacter coli and Campylobacter lari to elevated temperatures (46°C) was investigated by survival assays and whole transcriptome analysis. None of the strains survived at 46°C for more than 8 h and approximately 20% of the genes of C. coli RM2228 and C. lari RM2100 were differentially expressed. The transcriptomic profiles showed enhanced gene expression of several chaperones like dnaK, groES, groEL, and clpB in both strains, indicating a general involvement in the heat stress response within the Campylobacter species. However, the pronounced differences in the expression pattern between C. coli and C. lari suggest that stress response mechanisms described for one Campylobacter species might be not necessarily transferable to other Campylobacter species.