Temperature-dependent global gene expression in the Antarctic archaeon Methanococcoides burtonii
ABSTRACT Methanococcoides burtonii is a member of the Archaea that was isolated from Ace Lake in Antarctica and is a valuable model for studying cold adaptation. Low temperature transcriptional regulation of global gene expression, and the arrangement of transcriptional units in cold-adapted archaea has not been studied. We developed a microarray for determining which genes are expressed in operons, and which are differentially expressed at low (4°C) or high (23°C) temperature. Approximately 55% of genes were found to be arranged in operons that range in length from 2 to 23 genes, and mRNA abundance tended to increase with operon length. Analysing microarray data previously obtained by others for Halobacterium salinarum revealed a similar correlation between operon length and mRNA abundance, suggesting that operons may play a similar role more broadly in the Archaea. More than 500 genes were differentially expressed at levels up to ≈ 24-fold. A notable feature was the upregulation of genes involved in maintaining RNA in a state suitable for translation in the cold. Comparison between microarray experiments and results previously obtained using proteomics indicates that transcriptional regulation (rather than translation) is primarily responsible for controlling gene expression in M. burtonii. In addition, certain genes (e.g. involved in ribosome structure and methanogenesis) appear to be regulated post-transcriptionally. This is one of few experimental studies describing the genome-wide distribution and regulation of operons in archaea.
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ABSTRACT: We analysed the cold-responsive gene repertoire for a psychrophilic methanogen, Methanolobus psychrophilus R15 through genomic and RNA-seq assayed transcriptomic comparisons for cultures at 18°C (optimal temperature) versus 4°C. The differences found by RNA-seq analysis were verified using quantitative real time-PCR assay. The results showed that as in the Antarctic methanogen, Methanococcoides burtonii, genes for methanogenesis, biosynthesis and protein synthesis were all downregulated by the cold in R15. However, the RNA polymerase complex was upregulated at cold, as well as a gene cluster for a putative exosome complex, suggesting that exosome-mediated RNA decay may be cold-accelerated. Unexpectedly, the chaperonin genes for both thermosome and GroES/EL were all upregulated at 4°C. Strain R15 possessed eight protein families for oxygen detoxification, including both anaerobe-specific superoxide reductase (SOR) and the aerobe-typical superoxide dismutase (SOD)-catalase oxidant-removing system, implying the higher oxidative tolerance. Compared with a mesophilic methanogen, R15 survived in higher paraquat, a redox-cycling drug. Moreover, 71 one-component systems and 50 two-component systems for signal transduction ranked strain R15, together with M. burtonii, as being highly adaptive among archaea. Most of them exhibited cold-enhanced expression, indicating their involvement in cold adaptation. This study has added new perspectives on the cold adaptation of methanogenic archaea.Environmental Microbiology Reports 12/2012; 4(6):633-41. DOI:10.1111/j.1758-2229.2012.00389.x · 3.26 Impact Factor
- Environmental Microbiology 08/2011; 13(8):1903-7. DOI:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02512.x · 6.24 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The protein folding process in psychrophiles is impaired by low temperature, which exerts several physicochemical constraints, such as a decrease in the folding rate, reduced molecular diffusion rates and increased solvent viscosity, which interfere with conformational sampling. Furthermore, folding assistance is required at various folding steps according to the protein size. Recent studies in the field have provided contrasting and sometimes contradictory results, although protein folding generally appears as a rate-limiting step for the growth of psychrophiles. It is proposed here that these discrepancies reflect the diverse adaptive strategies adopted by psychrophiles in order to allow efficient protein folding at low temperature. Cold adaptations apparently superimpose on pre-existing cellular organization, resulting in different adaptive strategies. In addition, microbial lifestyle further modulates the properties of the chaperone machinery, which possibly explains the occurrence of cold-adapted and non-cold-adapted protein chaperones in psychrophiles.Environmental Microbiology 03/2011; 13(8):1924-33. DOI:10.1111/j.1462-2920.2011.02436.x · 6.24 Impact Factor