Mar 27, 2020

Morphological peculiarities of DNA-protein complexes in dormant Escherichia coli cells, subjected to prolonged starvation

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Yurii KrupyanskiiO. Sokolova


One of the adaptive strategies for the constantly changing conditions of the environment utilized in bacterial cells involves the condensation of DNA in complex with the DNA-binding protein, Dps. With the use of electron microscopy and electron tomography, we observed several morphologically different types of DNA condensation in dormant Escherichia coli cells, namely: nanocrystalline, liquid crystalline , and the folded nucleosome-like . We confirmed the presence of both Dps and DNA in all of the ordered structures using EDX analysis. The comparison of EDX spectra obtained for the three different ordered structures revealed that in nanocrystalline formation the majority of Dps protein is tightly bound to nucleoid DNA. We demonstrated that the population of the dormant cell is structurally heterogeneous, which allows cells to respond flexibly to environmental changes. It increases the ability of the whole bacterial population to survive under extreme stress conditions.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Germ-Line Mutation
Malignant Neoplasm of Stomach
Transcription, Genetic
Virus Replication
HRAS gene

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