Analysis of acid-stressed Bacillus cereus reveals a major oxidative response and inactivation-associated radical formation

J.M. Mols, R. van Kranenburg, C.C.J. van Melis, R. Moezelaar, T. Abee

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75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Acid stress resistance of the food-borne human pathogen Bacillus cereus may contribute to its survival in acidic environments, such as encountered in soil, food and the human gastrointestinal tract. The acid stress responses of B. cereus strains ATCC 14579 and ATCC 10987 were analysed in aerobically grown cultures acidified to pH values ranging from pH 5.4 to pH 4.4 with HCI. Comparative phenotype and transcriptome analyses revealed three acid stressinduced responses in this pH range: growth rate reduction, growth arrest and loss of viability. These physiological responses showed to be associated with metabolic shifts and the induction of general stress response mechanisms with a major oxidative component, including upregulation of catalases and superoxide dismutases. Flow cytometry analysis in combination with the hydroxyl (OH center dot) and peroxynitrite (ONOO-)-specific fluorescent probe 3'-(phydroxyphenyl) fluorescein (HPF) showed excessive radicals to be formed in both B. cereus strains in bactericidal conditions only. Our study shows that radicals can indicate acid-induced malfunctioning of cellular processes that lead to cell death.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)873-885
JournalEnvironmental Microbiology
Volume12
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Keywords

  • arginine deiminase system
  • food poisoning toxins
  • nitric-oxide
  • listeria-monocytogenes
  • staphylococcus-aureus
  • superoxide-dismutase
  • tolerance response
  • lactococcus-lactis
  • genome sequence
  • low-ph

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