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Multiple Transcriptional Mechanisms Collectively Mediate Copper Resistance in Cupriavidus gilardii CR3

Huang, Ning, Mao, Juan, Zhao, Yan, Hu, Mingzhong, Wang, Xiaoyu
Environmental science & technology 2019 v.53 no.8 pp. 4609-4618
Cupriavidus gilardii, bacteria, copper, gene expression regulation, gene ontology, genes, homeostasis, metabolism, prokaryotic cells, secretion, sulfur, transcription (genetics), transcriptome, transcriptomics
Bacteria resist copper (Cu) stress by implementing several metabolic mechanisms. However, these mechanisms are not fully understood. We investigated the mechanism of Cu resistance in Cupriavidus gilardii CR3, a Cu-resistant bacterium with a fully sequenced, annotated genome. The growth of CR3 was inhibited by higher Cu concentrations (≥1.0 mM) but not by lower ones (≤0.5 mM). CR3 accumulated Cu intracellularly (ratios of intercellular to extracellular Cu were 11.6, 4.24, and 3.9 in 0.1, 0.5, and 1.5 mM Cu treatments, respectively). A comparative transcriptome analysis of CR3 respectively revealed 310 and 413 differentially expressed genes under 0.5 and 1.5 mM Cu stress, most of which were up-regulated under Cu treatment. Gene Ontology and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes functional enrichment analyses uncovered several genotype-specific biological processes related to Cu stress. Besides revealing known Cu resistance-related genes, our global transcriptomics approach indicated that sulfur metabolism, iron–sulfur cluster, and cell secretion systems are involved in mediating Cu resistance in strain CR3. These results suggest that bacteria collectively use multiple systems to cope with Cu stress. Our findings concerning the global transcriptome response to Cu stress in CR3 provide new information for understanding the intricate regulatory network of Cu homeostasis in prokaryotes.