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Combined proteomic and transcriptomic analysis of the response of Bacillus anthracis to oxidative stress

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Susanne Pohl, Dr Phillip AldridgeORCiD, Dr Colin GillespieORCiD, Dr Ulrike Mader, Professor Colin Harwood


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The endospore-forming Gram-positive pathogen Bacillus anthracis is responsible for the usually fatal disease, inhalational anthrax. The success of this pathogen is dependent on its ability to subvert elements of the innate immune system of its animal hosts. B. anthracis spores, which are the main infective agent, are engulfed and germinate in patrolling alveolar macrophages. In order for the infection to progress, the resulting vegetative cells must resist the antimicrobial oxidative burst mounted by the host NADPH oxidase complex. The response of B. anthracis to this and other macrophage-related stresses is therefore of major importance to the success of this pathogen, and consequently we have analysed the superoxide and peroxide stress stimulons of B. anthracis strain UM23C1-2 by means of a combined transcriptomics and proteomics approach. The results show distinct patterns of expression in response to paraquat (endogenous superoxide) and hydrogen peroxide stress. While the main response to paraquat is the induction of iron uptake pathways, the response to peroxide predominantly involves the induction of protection and repair mechanisms. Comparisons between the responses of B. anthracis and related soil bacterium, B. subtilis, reveal differences that are likely to be relevant to their respective habitats.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pohl S, Tu WY, Aldridge PD, Gillespie C, Hahne H, Mäder U, Read TD, Harwood CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proteomics

Year: 2011

Volume: 11

Issue: 15

Pages: 3036-3055

Print publication date: 04/07/2011

ISSN (print): 1615-9853

ISSN (electronic): 1615-9861

Publisher: Wiley - V C H Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA


DOI: 10.1002/pmic.201100085


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Funder referenceFunder name
Sarawak Higher Education Scheme
Sarawak Foundation, Malaysia
UK higher education funding bodies