The data represent the average change (n-fold) determined from at least three independent experiments. As a control we used the housekeeping gene gapdh, which was carefully validated before its use in quantitative mRNA assays with 16S rRNA gene expression as an internal control obtained under the same conditions and determined
from at least three independent experiments. Growth temperature regulates the production and specificity of CPS in E. coli K92 (González-Clemente et al., 1990; Navasa et al., 2009). We therefore sought to determine whether the genes responsible for capsular metabolism and regulation are modulated at temperatures that represent the mammalian host (37 °C) and at ambient conditions (19 °C). Parallel cultures grown at 37 and 19 °C
in xylose–asparagine defined medium selleck products with aeration (González-Clemente et al., 1990; Navasa et al., 2009) were harvested at the exponential phase around 29–31 generations after inoculation. Thus, the results obtained reflect the adapted state and signify genes whose expression is differentially maintained over long-term growth at a given temperature (White-Ziegler et al., 2007). Of the genes studied and that we considered as representative (Fig. 1) and directly involved in the metabolism and/or control of both capsular polymers, 19 were found to be highly expressed at 37 °C (Tables 2–4), whereas nine genes were predominantly expressed at 19 °C (Table 3). The validity of the experimental design is supported by the fact that all genes contained on the kps cluster showed the greatest isometheptene increase at 37 °C (more Selleck Inhibitor Library than 500-fold
in the case of the neuE and neuS genes). To analyse expression levels of the genes of the kps cluster, we selected one or more genes of each functional region (Fig. 1a). Because regions 1 and 3 of group 2 capsules are organized in two different transcriptional units (Pazzani et al., 1993; Cieslewicz & Vimr, 1996; Stevens et al., 1997), we studied the expression of the first genes of each region (kpsF and kpsM, respectively) as representatives. We also analysed the expression of all neu genes located on the specific 2 region (Whitfield, 2006). As shown in Table 2, the expression levels of all genes of the kps cluster studied (namely kps of regions 1 and 3 and neu of region 2) were significantly increased at 37 °C compared with at 19 °C (above 15-fold in most cases) while more than a 500-fold increase was observed for the neuE and neuS genes. Higher expression levels were observed in genes belonging to region 2 (neu genes), while expression levels of kpsF (region 1) were lower than those obtained for other genes of the cluster (between five- and 30-fold lower). We also analysed the effect of growth temperature on expression levels of the genes involved in sialic acid catabolism (Kalivoda et al., 2003; Vimr et al., 2004) in E. coli K92 (Fig. 1b).