Our work ” Delayed effects of transcriptional responses in Mycobacterium tuberculosis exposed to nitric oxide suggest other mechanisms involved in survival” has been published in Scientific Reports.
Bacterial adaptation to stress has been commonly studied in the context of transcriptional responses, with the implicit assumption that transcriptional changes are tightly coupled with protein changes. Here, we have challenged M. tuberculosis with nitric oxide and interrogated the dynamic transcriptome and proteome response through time resolved analysis. The first main finding of this study is that despite an immediate transcriptomic response to nitric oxide, transcriptional changes take several hours to manifest on the protein level, demonstrating an overall delay in protein production in response to nitric oxide. The second main finding is that early changes in the proteome are characterised by degradation of a specific set of proteins rather than by synthesis of new proteins, highlighting a discordance between the transcriptome and proteome. Overall, our findings suggest that whilst the early transcriptome changes might contribute to late-stage recovery, the initial resistance and survival of M. tuberculosis to nitric oxide is contingent on mechanisms other than transcriptional regulation.
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