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Cold shock and its effects on ribosomes and thermal tolerance in Listeria monocytogenes

Bayles, D.O., Tunick, M.H., Foglia, T.A., Miller, A.J.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2000 v.66 no.10 pp. 4351-4355
Listeria monocytogenes, cold stress, heat stability, ribosomes, denaturation, fatty acids, chemical composition, calorimetry, heat treatment, inactivation, differential scanning calorimetry, heat inactivation
Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) and fatty acid analysis were used to determine how cold shocking reduces the thermal stability of Listeria monocytogenes. Additionally, antibiotics that can elicit production of cold or heat shock proteins were used to determine the effect of translation blockage on ribosome thermal stability. Fatty acid profiles showed no significant variations as a result of cold shock, indicating that changes in membrane fatty acids were not responsible for the cold shock-induced reduction in thermal tolerance. Following a 3-h cold shock from 37 to 0 degrees C, the maximum denaturation temperature of the 50S ribosomal subunit and 70S ribosomal particle peak was reduced from 73.4 +/- 0.1 degrees C (mean +/- standard deviation) to 72.1 +/- 0.5 degrees C (P less than or equal to 0.05), indicating that cold shock induced instability in the associated ribosome structure. The maximum denaturation temperature of the 30S ribosomal submit peak did not show a significant shift in temperature (from 67.5 +/- 0.4 degrees C to 66.8 +/- 0.5 degrees C) as a result of cold shock, suggesting that either 50S subunit or 70S particle sensitivity was responsible for the intact ribosome fragility. Antibiotics that elicited changes in maximum denaturation temperature in ribosomal components also elicited reductions in thermotolerance. Together, these data suggest that ribosomal changes resulting from cold shock may be responsible for the decrease in D value observed when L. monocytogenes is cold shocked.