Author(s): Niven GW, Miles CA, Mackey BM
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Abstract Differential scanning calorimetry of whole Escherichia coil cells allowed the detection in vivo of changes in ribosome conformation. This enabled for the first time an analysis of the effects of high hydrostatic pressures on ribosomes in living cells. A correlation was observed between loss of cell viability and decrease in ribosome-associated enthalpy in cells subjected to pressures of 50-250 MPa for 20 min. Cell death and ribosome damage were therefore closely related phenomena. In pressure-treated cells, the thermogram peak temperatures decreased, suggesting that the remaining ribosomes had adopted a less stable conformation. During subsequent incubation of the cultures at 37 degrees C, peak temperatures and enthalpies gradually increased over a period of 5 h. This change in ribosome conformation had no apparent effect on cell survival, as viability continued to decrease. The addition of 5 mM MgCl2 before pressure treatment of cells prevented the reduction in stability of surviving ribosomes but had no effect on the initial loss of enthalpy or on cell viability.
This article was published in Microbiology
and referenced in Journal of Microbial & Biochemical Technology