Bacterial luciferase is naturally destabilized in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and can be used to monitor changes in gene expression

Esteban A. Roberts, Amanda Clark, Richard L. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

Reporter systems efficient at monitoring temporal gene expression in slow-growing mycobacteria would significantly aid the characterization of gene expression in specific environments. Bacterial luciferase is a reporter that has not been widely used to study gene expression in mycobacteria. This report describes the determination of the degradation of bacterial luciferase in Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Ra and its utility as a reporter of temporal gene expression in this slow-growing mycobacterium. The inducible/repressible alanine dehydrogenase promoter of M. tuberculosis H37Rv was used to track the decay kinetics of Vibrio harveyi luciferase in both mid-log phase and stationary phase grown M. tuberculosis H37Ra, which proved to be highly similar during both phases of growth. The luciferase reporter was then used to detect changes in expression from the heat-shock promoter, phsp60, of M. bovis BCG during M. tuberculosis H37Ra growth in culture. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis of groEL2, the hsp60 homologue in M. tuberculosis, displayed a similar pattern of expression to phsp60-driven luciferase. These results strongly suggest that the luciferase reporter can be used to monitor temporal changes in gene expression in M. tuberculosis and may serve as a novel system to examine gene expression under specific conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Volume243
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

Keywords

  • Destabilized
  • Luciferase
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis
  • Real-time PCR
  • Reporter
  • groEL2

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

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