The Acidic Stress Response of the Intracellular Pathogen Brucella melitensis: New Insights from a Comparative, Genome-Wide Transcriptome Analysis
The intracellular pathogenic bacteria belonging to the genus Brucella must cope with acidic stress as they penetrate the host via the gastrointestinal route, and again during the initial stages of intracellular infection. A transcription-level regulation has been proposed to explain this but the specific molecular mechanisms are yet to be determined. We recently reported a comparative transcriptomic analysis of the attenuated vaccine Brucella melitensis strain Rev.1 against the virulent strain
... he virulent strain 16M in cultures grown under either neutral or acidic conditions. Here, we re-analyze the RNA-seq data of 16M from our previous study and compare it to published transcriptomic data of this strain from both an in cellulo and an in vivo model. We identify 588 genes that are exclusively differentially expressed in 16M grown under acidic versus neutral pH conditions, including 286 upregulated genes and 302 downregulated genes that are not differentially expressed in either the in cellulo or the in vivo model. Of these, we highlight 13 key genes that are known to be associated with a bacterial response to acidic stress and, in our study, were highly upregulated under acidic conditions. These genes provide new molecular insights into the mechanisms underlying the acid-resistance of Brucella within its host.