Cold Shock Proteins in Francisella Novicida



Feroze, Tayyaba

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Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular pathogen causing the zoonotic disease tularemia. The mechanisms employed by Francisella to adapt to cold temperatures, harsh intracellular environments, and being able to survive within host macrophages are not clearly understood. Cold- shock proteins (CSPs) are involved in growth at low temperatures as well as other stressful conditions and Francisella novicida encodes two CSPs: cspA and cspC. In this study we showed that at 10°C there was discernible growth defect between wildtype and ΔcspA and ΔcspC. We studied the expression of cspA and cspC genes in Francisella under cold temperature, hydrogen peroxide, and low pH as determined via quantitative reverse transcription PCR. Our results suggest that overall cspA plays a general role in stress response. During osmotic stress, ΔcspC was more sensitive compared to ΔcspA and the parental strain and significantly made more biofilm. These findings suggest that Francisella’s ΔcspA and ΔcspC genes make essential contributions to allowing the bacteria to adapt to cold temperatures and other harsh conditions encountered within the host. In addition, there are some differential roles being played by cspA and cspC that need further investigation. Information from this this study is critical to our understanding of how this pathogen responds to and survives in diverse environments.


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Cold-shock, Cold-shock proteins, Francisella novicida, Cold-shock domain, Tularemia