Author(s): Liu Y, Ream A, Joerger RD, Liu J, Wang Y
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Abstract Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen of significant threat to public health. High hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatment can be used to control Listeria monocytogenes in food. The CtsR (class three stress gene repressor) protein negatively regulates the expression of class III heat shock genes. A spontaneous pressure-tolerant ctsR mutant 2-1 that was able to survive under HHP treatment has been identified previously. So far, there is only limited information about the mechanisms of survival and adaptation of this mutant to high pressure. Microarray technology was used to monitor the gene expression profiles of the ctsR mutant 2-1 under HHP treatment. Compared to pressure-treated L. monocytogenes Scott A wild type, 17 genes were up-regulated (>2-fold increase) in the ctsR mutant 2-1, whereas 58 genes were down-regulated (<-2-fold decrease). The entire clpC operon was up-regulated in the ctsR mutant 2-1, indicating that the mutant CtsR protein was not a functional repressor. The increased levels of expression of stress-related genes in ctsR mutant 2-1 may contribute to its survival under high pressure. The reduced expression levels of the genes related to virulence, flagella synthesis, and cell division in the ctsR mutant 2-1 correlate with its characteristics (elongated cells, reduced virulence, and absence of flagella). The gene expression changes determined by microarray assays were confirmed by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR analyses. This study enhances our understanding of how Listeria monocytogenes survives under HHP and may contribute to the design of effective and economically feasible HHP treatment in food processing.
This article was published in J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology