de Araujo, Hugo L.
Martins, Bianca P.
Vicente, Alexandre M.
Lorenzetti, Alan P. R.
Marques, V, Marilis
Total Authors: 6
 V, Univ Sao Paulo, Inst Ciencias Biomed, Dept Microbiol, Sao Paulo - Brazil
 Ludwig Maximilians Univ Munchen, Biozentrum, Munich - Germany
 Univ Sao Paulo, Fac Med Ribeirao Preto, Dept Bioquirn & Imunol, Ribeirao Preto - Brazil
Total Affiliations: 3
Web of Science Citations:
In this study, we characterize the response of the free-living oligotrophic alphaproteobacterium Caulobacter crescentus to low temperatures by global transcriptomic analysis. Our results showed that 656 genes were upregulated and 619 were downregulated at least 2-fold after a temperature downshift. The identified differentially expressed genes (DEG) belong to several functional categories, notably inorganic ion transport and metabolism, and a subset of these genes had their expression confirmed by reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (RT-qPCR). Several genes belonging to the ferric uptake regulator (Fur) regulon were downregulated, indicating that iron homeostasis is relevant for adaptation to cold. Several upregulated genes encode proteins that interact with nucleic acids, particularly RNA: cspA, cspB, and the DEAD box RNA helicases rhlE, dbpA, and rhlB. Moreover, 31 small regulatory RNAs (sRNAs), including the cell cycle-regulated noncoding RNA (ncRNA) CcnA, were upregulated, indicating that posttranscriptional regulation is important for the cold stress response. Interestingly, several genes related to transport were upregulated under cold stress, including three AcrB-like cation/multidrug efflux pumps, the nitrate/nitrite transport system, and the potassium transport genes kdpFABC. Further characterization showed that kdpA is upregulated in a potassium-limited medium and at a low temperature in a SigT-independent way. kdpA mRNA is less stable in rho and rhlE mutant strains, but while the expression is positively regulated by RhlE, it is negatively regulated by Rho. A kdpA-deleted strain was generated, and its viability in response to osmotic, acidic, or cold stresses was determined. The implications of such variation in the gene expression for cold adaptation are discussed. IMPORTANCE Low-temperature stress is an important factor for nucleic acid stability and must be circumvented in order to maintain the basic cell processes, such as transcription and translation. The oligotrophic lifestyle presents further challenges to ensure the proper nutrient uptake and osmotic balance in an environment of slow nutrient flow. Here, we show that in Caulobacter crescentus, the expression of the genes involved in cation transport and homeostasis is altered in response to cold, which could lead to a decrease in iron uptake and an increase in nitrogen and highaffinity potassium transport by the Kdp system. This previously uncharacterized regulation of the Kdp transporter has revealed a new mechanism for adaptation to low temperatures that may be relevant for oligotrophic bacteria. (AU)