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Stochastic and differential activation of σB and PrfA in Listeria monocytogenes at the single cell level under different environmental stress conditions


Guldimann, Claudia; Guariglia-Oropeza, V; Harrand, S; Kentner, David; Boor, K J; Wiedmann, Martin (2017). Stochastic and differential activation of σB and PrfA in Listeria monocytogenes at the single cell level under different environmental stress conditions. Frontiers in Microbiology, 8:348.

Abstract

During host infection, the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must sense and respond to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Two transcriptional regulators, the alternative sigma factor B (σB) and the Positive Regulatory Factor A (PrfA), are key contributors to the transcriptomic responses that enable bacterial survival in the host gastrointestinal tract and invasion of host duodenal cells. Increases in temperature and osmolarity induce activity of these proteins; such conditions may be encountered in food matrices as well as within the host gastrointestinal tract. Differences in PrfA and σB activity between individual cells might affect the fate of a cell during host invasion, therefore, we hypothesized that PrfA and σB activities differ among individual cells under heat and salt stress. We used fluorescent reporter fusions to determine the relative proportions of cells with active σB or PrfA following exposure to 45°C heat or 4% NaCl. Activities of both PrfA and σB were induced stochastically, with fluorescence levels ranging from below detection to high among individual cells. The proportion of cells with active PrfA was significantly higher than the proportion with active σB under all tested conditions; under some conditions, nearly all cells had active PrfA. Our findings further support the growing body of evidence illustrating the stochastic nature of bacterial gene expression under conditions that are relevant for host invasion via food-borne, oral infection.

Abstract

During host infection, the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes must sense and respond to rapidly changing environmental conditions. Two transcriptional regulators, the alternative sigma factor B (σB) and the Positive Regulatory Factor A (PrfA), are key contributors to the transcriptomic responses that enable bacterial survival in the host gastrointestinal tract and invasion of host duodenal cells. Increases in temperature and osmolarity induce activity of these proteins; such conditions may be encountered in food matrices as well as within the host gastrointestinal tract. Differences in PrfA and σB activity between individual cells might affect the fate of a cell during host invasion, therefore, we hypothesized that PrfA and σB activities differ among individual cells under heat and salt stress. We used fluorescent reporter fusions to determine the relative proportions of cells with active σB or PrfA following exposure to 45°C heat or 4% NaCl. Activities of both PrfA and σB were induced stochastically, with fluorescence levels ranging from below detection to high among individual cells. The proportion of cells with active PrfA was significantly higher than the proportion with active σB under all tested conditions; under some conditions, nearly all cells had active PrfA. Our findings further support the growing body of evidence illustrating the stochastic nature of bacterial gene expression under conditions that are relevant for host invasion via food-borne, oral infection.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:05 Vetsuisse Faculty > Institute of Food Safety and Hygiene
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Listeria monocytogenes; PrfA; heat stress; salt stress; sigB; single cell; stochastic gene expression
Language:English
Date:2017
Deposited On:14 Feb 2018 18:26
Last Modified:01 Mar 2018 01:58
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-302X
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fmicb.2017.00348
PubMed ID:28352251

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