In Vivo Gene Expression Profiling of the Plague Bacillus, Yersinia Pestis

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Title: In Vivo Gene Expression Profiling of the Plague Bacillus, Yersinia Pestis
Author: Lawson, Jonathan Neale
Abstract: Yersinia pestis , the causative agent of plague , can be transmitted by infected -flea bite or inhaled aerosol . Both routes of infection have a high mortality rate , and pneumonic infections of Yersinia pestis represent a significant fear as a tool of bioterrorism . Understanding the transcriptional program of this pathogen during pulmonary infection is valuable to better understand plague pathogenesis . Improved understanding of the mechanisms employed by Y . pestis to cause illness may lead to new vaccines or therapies . Using a long -oligonucleotide microarray to the plague bacillus I evaluated the expression profiles of in vitro and in vivo models of Y . pestis . The change in temperature from ambient (e .g . aerosol or flea midgut ) to the mammalian host has been used as a model to understand the effects of temperature as a signal for virulence gene expression . I have profiled transcription during an aerosol delivered mouse infection . By amplifying the Y . pestis RNA from individual mouse lungs , I was able to map the transcriptional profile of plague at post -infection days 1 to 3 . My data suggest a dramatically altered transcriptional profile relative to the in vitro model , suggesting Y . pestis is responding to a variety of host signals during infection . Of note was the number of genes found in genomic regions with altered %GC content that are up -regulated within the mouse lung environment . These data suggest these regions may provide promising targets for future therapy design and vaccine target discovery .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .5 /471
Date: 2006-08-11

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In Vivo Gene Expression Profiling of the Plague Bacillus, Yersinia Pestis. Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2152 .5 /471 .

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