1887

Abstract

An aquaporin gene () was previously detected in the pathogenic bacterium . Earlier studies showed that AqpX mediated rapid and large water fluxes in both directions in response to sudden osmotic up- or downshifts. Here, to study the role and the expression of the gene in , an null mutant was constructed using an  : :  gene fusion. This mutant showed no significant difference in growth rate compared to the wild-type strain when grown in rich and minimal media, demonstrating that disruption of the gene was not lethal for . The role of the AqpX water channel was investigated by exposing the cells to hypo- and hyperosmolar conditions. While in hyperosmolar environments the growth rate of the knockout mutant was not affected, in hypo-osmolar conditions this mutant showed reduced viability after 50 h of growth. -Galactosidase assays and RT-PCR revealed that gene expression and the amount of mRNA were markedly increased in hyperosmolar conditions. Moreover, expression levels were enhanced during the mid-exponential phase of growth. These results indicated that the expression of was regulated during the growth curve and induced in hyperosmolar conditions. This report is believed to be the first example of the induction of a bacterial aquaporin in hypertonic conditions.

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2003-11-01
2020-04-10
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