Physiological and Proteomic Analysis of Escherichia coli Iron-Limited Chemostat Growth
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Iron bioavailability is a major limiter of bacterial growth in mammalian host tissue and thus represents an important area of study. Escherichia coli K-12 metabolism was studied at four levels of iron limitation in chemostats using physiological and proteomic analyses. The data documented an E. coli acclimation gradient where progressively more severe iron scarcity resulted in a larger percentage of substrate carbon being directed into an overflow metabolism accompanied by a decrease in biomass yield on glucose. Acetate was the primary secreted organic by-product for moderate levels of iron limitation, but as stress increased, the metabolism shifted to secrete primarily lactate (∼70% of catabolized glucose carbon). Proteomic analysis reinforced the physiological data and quantified relative increases in glycolysis enzyme abundance and decreases in tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle enzyme abundance with increasing iron limitation stress. The combined data indicated that E. coli responds to limiting iron by investing the scarce resource in essential enzymes, at the cost of catabolic efficiency (i.e., downregulating high-ATP-yielding pathways containing enzymes with large iron requirements, like the TCA cycle). Acclimation to iron-limited growth was contrasted experimentally with acclimation to glucose-limited growth to identify both general and nutrient-specific acclimation strategies. While the iron-limited cultures maximized biomass yields on iron and increased expression of iron acquisition strategies, the glucose-limited cultures maximized biomass yields on glucose and increased expression of carbon acquisition strategies. This study quantified ecologically competitive acclimations to nutrient limitations, yielding knowledge essential for understanding medically relevant bacterial responses to host and to developing intervention strategies.
Folsom, James Patrick, Albert E. Parker, and Ross P. Carlson. "Physiological and Proteomic Analysis of Escherichia coli Iron-Limited Chemostat Growth." Journal of Bacteriology 196, no. 15 (May 16, 2014): 2748-2761. http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/JB.01606-14