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Use of protein microarray to identify gene expression changes of Yersinia pestis at different temperatures

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Yersinia pestis is a bacterium that is transmitted between fleas, which have a body temperature of 26 °C, and mammalian hosts, which have a body temperature of 37 °C. To adapt to the temperature shift, phenotype variations, including virulence, occur. In this study, an antigen microarray including 218 proteins of Y. pestis was used to evaluate antibody responses in a pooled plague serum that was unadsorbed, adsorbed by Y. pestis cultivated at 26 °C, or adsorbed by Y. pestis cultivated at 26 and 37 °C to identify protein expression changes during the temperature shift. We identified 12 proteins as being expressed at 37 °C but not at 26 °C, or expressed at significantly higher levels at 37 °C than at 26 °C. The antibodies against 7 proteins in the serum adsorbed by Y. pestis cultivated at 26 and 37 °C remained positive, suggesting that they were not expressed on the surface of Y. pestis in LB broth in vitro or specifically expressed in vivo. This study proved that protein microarray and antibody profiling comprise a promising technique for monitoring gene expression at the protein level and for better understanding pathogenicity, to find new vaccine targets against plague.

Keywords: Yersinia pestis; antibody profiling; profil d’anticorps; protein microarray; puce de protéines; temperature; température

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Taihe Hospital, Hubei Medical University, Shiyan, Hubei Province 442000, China. 2: Laboratory of Analytical Microbiology, State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Beijing 100071, China 3: Qinghai Institute for Endemic Diseases Prevention and Control, Xining, Qinghai Province 811602, China.

Publication date: April 8, 2011

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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