Regulation of Expression of a Neisseria Gonorrhoeae tRNA-Modification Enzyme (Gcp)
AuthorHernandez, Diana Raquel
AdvisorSo, Magdalene Y.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNeisseria gonorrhoeae (Ng) encounters different microenvironments during its life-cycle. Some of these niches have different concentrations of oxygen, which influences the rate of Ng growth; as well as iron, an element essential for Ng survival. Differential expression of several proteins allows the bacteria to adapt to the diverse conditions it comes encounters. One protein affected by environmental changes during Ng growth is Gcp, a tRNA-modification enzyme essential for protein synthesis. To study the regulation of expression of Gcp, we first analyzed the sequence of its ORF, gcp. Orthologs of this gene are found in all kingdoms of life. In silico analysis shows that among Neisseria species, gcp ranges in homology from 76% to 99%, at the nucleotide level. Reverse transcription PCR indicates that gcp is expressed as part of an operon, together with three cytochrome-associated genes cyc4, resB and resC. Rapid amplification of complementary DNA ends determined the start of transcription of cyc4 (and possibly of the cyc4-gcp operon) at 95 nucleotides from the gene start codon. Transcriptional fusions determined that the promoter region upstream of cyc4 is the strongest promoter in the operon. However, the region directly upstream of gcp also has low level of promoter activity, suggesting that the gene may be expressed from two different promoters. Semi-quantitative determination of the concentration of gcp mRNA indicates that the transcription of the gene is significantly repressed when Ng is grown under low iron or low oxygen conditions. Analysis of an fnr mutant, grown under the same conditions as its parental wild type, indicates that the FNR transcriptional regulator is involved in the repression of gcp in low iron or low oxygen conditions. Contrary to expectation, the cyc4 promoter is upregulated when Ng is grown under low oxygen or low iron conditions. However, these results cannot be compared to the original promoter strength. Determination of which was performed on bacteria grown in liquid medium. Coregulation of gcp with cytochrome genes can guarantee low levels of protein synthesis when Ng encounters adverse microenvironments and needs its energy redirected to the expression of genes that would allow it to survive.
Degree ProgramGraduate College