Response of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus to UV damage

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Journal Article
Journal of Bacteriology, 2007, 189 (23), pp. 8708 - 8718
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In order to characterize the genome-wide transcriptional response of the hyperthermophilic, aerobic crenarchaeote Sulfolobus solfataricus to UV damage, we used high-density DNA microarrays which covered 3,368 genetic features encoded on the host genome, as well as the genes of several extrachromosomal genetic elements. While no significant up-regulation of genes potentially involved in direct DNA damage reversal was observed, a specific transcriptional UV response involving 55 genes could be dissected. Although flow cytometry showed only modest perturbation of the cell cycle, strong modulation of the transcript levels of the Cdc6 replication initiator genes was observed. Up-regulation of an operon encoding Mre11 and Rad50 homologs pointed to induction of recombinational repair. Consistent with this, DNA double-strand breaks were observed between 2 and 8 h after UV treatment, possibly resulting from replication fork collapse at damaged DNA sites. The strong transcriptional induction of genes which potentially encode functions for pilus formation suggested that conjugational activity might lead to enhanced exchange of genetic material. In support of this, a statistical microscopic analysis demonstrated that large cell aggregates formed upon UV exposure. Together, this provided supporting evidence to a link between recombinational repair and conjugation events. Copyright © 2007, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
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