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Abstract

The stressosome is a protein complex that senses environmental stresses and mediates the stress response in several Gram-positive bacteria through the activation of the alternative sigma factor SigB. The stressosome locus is found in 44 % of Gram-negative isolates. However, does not possess SigB. Nonetheless, in nutrient-limited media, the stressosome modulates gene transcription and bacterial behaviour. In this work, the expression of the stressosome genes was proven during stationary phase in nutrient-rich media and co-transcription as one operonic unit of the stressosome locus and its putative downstream regulatory locus was demonstrated. The construction of a stressosome mutant lacking the genes encoding the four proteins constituting the stressosome complex (VvRsbR, VvRsbS, VvRsbT, VvRsbX) allowed us to examine the role of this complex . Extensive phenotypic characterization of the ΔRSTX mutant in nutrient-rich media showed that the stressosome does not contribute to growth of . Moreover, the stressosome did not modulate the tolerance or survival response of to the range of stresses tested, which included ethanol, hyperosmolarity, hypoxia, high temperature, acidity and oxidative stress. Furthermore, the stressosome was dispensable for motility and exoenzyme production of in nutrient-rich media. Therefore, in conclusion, although stressosome gene transcription occurs in nutrient-rich media, the stressosome neither has an essential role in stress responses of nor does it seem to modulate these activities in these conditions. We hypothesise that the stressosome is expressed in nutrient-rich conditions as a sensor complex, but that activation of the complex does not occur in this environment.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • BBSRC (Award BB/L024209/1)
    • Principle Award Recipient: NotApplicable
  • Higher Education Authority (Award COVID-19 costed extension programme)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LauraCutugno
  • Irish Research Council (Award GOIPG/2020/1420)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LauraCutugno
  • H2020 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (Award 721456)
    • Principle Award Recipient: LauraCutugno
  • This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License.
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2023-07-13
2024-06-23
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