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Integration of transcriptomic and proteomic approaches unveils the molecular mechanism of membrane disintegration in Escherichia coli O157:H7 with ultrasonic treatment

Qiao He, Yanhong Liu, Donghong Liu, Mingming Guo
Science of the total environment 2021 v.791 pp. 148366
Escherichia coli O157, RNA, asymmetry, bioinformatics, biosynthesis, cell membranes, disinfection, environment, fatty acid metabolism, fatty acids, homeostasis, lipopolysaccharides, metabolic diseases, phenotype, phospholipids, proteomics, sequence analysis, transcriptomics, ultrasonic treatment, ultrasonics, wastewater treatment
Ultrasonic disinfection in wastewater treatment has been studied for years at the phenotypic level, while the understanding of the molecular inactivation mechanism is still not clear. Here, the responses of Escherichia coli O157:H7 to ultrasound treatment were investigated using RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and tandem mass tags (TMT) based quantitative proteomics methods. The analyses revealed that 770 genes and 201 proteins were significantly changed upon ultrasound treatment. Moreover, the integrated transcriptomic and proteomic analyses uncovered a set of 59 genes or proteins were differentially expressed in ultrasound-treated cells, providing an overview of the cellular responses to ultrasonic field. According to the bioinformatic analyses, genes and proteins that may be involved in lipid asymmetry preservation and outer membrane homeostasis maintenance (including phospholipid metabolism, lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis and transport, and fatty acid metabolism) were specifically up-regulated. Therefore, we proposed that the metabolism disorder of cellular membrane lipids (lipopolysaccharide, phospholipid, and fatty acid included) was one of the main challenges for the bacteria upon ultrasonic stress. In this study, we initially proposed a novel mechanism regarding the ultrasound-induced membrane disintegration from a multi-omics perspective, which may present an important step toward deciphering the molecular inactivation mechanism of ultrasonic field and provide a theoretical foundation for the application of ultrasound technology for the control of waterborne pathogens.