Mar 25, 2020

Putative horizontally acquired genes, highly transcribed during Yersinia pestis flea infection, are induced by hyperosmotic stress and function in aromatic amino acid metabolism

Journal of Bacteriology
Luary C Martínez-ChavarríaViveka Vadyvaloo


While alternating between insects and mammals during its lifecycle, Yersinia pestis, the flea transmitted bacterium that causes plague, regulates its gene expression appropriately to adapt to these two physiologically disparate host environments. In fleas competent to transmit Y. pestis, low GC content genes y3555, y3551 and y3550 are highly transcribed, suggesting that these genes have a highly prioritized role in flea infection. Here we demonstrate that y3555, y3551 and y3550 are transcribed as part of a single polycistronic mRNA comprising the y3555-y3554-y3553-y355x-y3551-y3550 genes. Additionally, y355x-y3551-y3550 compose another operon while y3550 can be also transcribed as a monocistronic mRNA. Expression of these genes is induced by hyperosmotic salinity stress, which serves as an explicit environmental stimulus that initiates transcriptional activity from the predicted y3550 promoter. Y3555 has homology to PLP-dependent aromatic aminotransferases, while Y3550 and Y3551 are homologous to the Rid protein superfamily (YjgF/YER057c/UK114) members that forestall damage caused by reactive intermediates formed during PLP-dependent enzymatic activity. We demonstrate that y3551 specifically encodes an archetypal RidA protein w...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Gene Expression
RNA, Messenger
Transcription, Genetic
Salmonella enterica
Hyperosmotic Salinity Response
Pyridoxal Phosphate
Escherichia coli
RidA protein, Arabidopsis

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