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Zhang, Yanmei; Shi, Chunyu; Yu, Jiafei; Ren, Jingjing; Sun, Dongchang (2012)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Journal: PLoS ONE
Languages: English
Types: Article
Subjects: Computational Biology, Molecular Genetics, Research Article, Biology, Molecular Cell Biology, Infectious Diseases, Microbiology, Zoonoses, Medicine, Bacterial Pathogens, Prokaryotic Models, Bacterial Diseases, Q, R, Genetics, Model Organisms, Science

Classified by OpenAIRE into

mesheuropmc: bacteria
Spontaneous plasmid transformation of Escherichia coli is independent of the DNA uptake machinery for single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) entry. The one-hit kinetic pattern of plasmid transformation indicates that double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) enters E. coli cells on agar plates. However, DNA uptake and transformation regulation remain unclear in this new type of plasmid transformation. In this study, we developed our previous plasmid transformation system and induced competence at early stationary phase. Despite of inoculum size, the development of competence was determined by optical cell density. DNase I interruption experiment showed that DNA was taken up exponentially within the initial 2 minutes and most transforming DNA entered E. coli cells within 10 minutes on LB-agar plates. A half-order kinetics between recipient cells and transformants was identified when cell density was high on plates. To determine whether the stationary phase master regulator RpoS plays roles in plasmid transformation, we investigated the effects of inactivating and over-expressing its encoding gene rpoS on plasmid transformation. The inactivation of rpoS systematically reduced transformation frequency, while over-expressing rpoS increased plasmid transformation. Normally, RpoS recognizes promoters by its lysine 173 (K173). We found that the K173E mutation caused RpoS unable to promote plasmid transformation, further confirming a role of RpoS in regulating plasmid transformation. In classical transformation, DNA was transferred across membranes by DNA uptake proteins and integrated by DNA processing proteins. At stationary growth phase, RpoS regulates some genes encoding membrane/periplasmic proteins and DNA processing proteins. We quantified transcription of 22 of them and found that transcription of only 4 genes (osmC, yqjC, ygiW and ugpC) encoding membrane/periplasmic proteins showed significant differential expression when wildtype RpoS and RpoS(K173E) mutant were expressed. Further investigation showed that inactivation of any one of these genes did not significantly reduce transformation, suggesting that RpoS may regulate plasmid transformation through other/multiple target genes.

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