Oxygen depletion-induced dormancy in Mycobacterium bovis BCG.
Gradual depletion of oxygen causes the shift-down of aerobic growing Mycobacterium bovis BCG to an anaerobic synchronized state of nonreplicating persistence. The persistent culture shows induction of glycine dehydrogenase and alpha-crystallin-like protein and is sensitive to metronidazole. (+info)
Central metabolism in Mycobacterium smegmatis during the transition from O2-rich to O2-poor conditions as studied by isotopomer-assisted metabolite analysis.
Glyoxylate metabolism and adaptation of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to survival under anaerobic conditions.
Tuberculosis is characterized by periods in which the disease may be quiescent or even clinically inapparent, but in which tubercle bacilli persist and retain the potential to reactivate the disease. The present study was carried out in pursuit of an in vitro model which might contribute to the understanding of the physiology of nonreplicating persisters, with oxygen limitation used as the means of inducing this state. When actively growing aerated cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis were suddenly placed under anaerobic conditions the bacilli died rapidly, with a half-life of 10 h. When the bacilli were grown in liquid medium without agitation, they adapted to the microaerophilic conditions encountered in the sediment; the adapted bacilli in the sediment did not replicate there but were tolerant of anaerobiosis, exhibiting a half-life of 116 h. Among the early events associated with the adaptation were the synthesis of an antigen designated URB, the function of which is not known, and a fourfold increase in isocitrate lyase activity. The bacilli later exhibited a 10-fold increase in synthesis of a glycine dehydrogenase that catalyzes the reductive amination of glyoxylate, concomitantly oxidizing NADH to NAD. Specific activities of other enzymes studied were either not affected or moderately diminished in the sedimented bacilli. It is proposed that the glyoxylate synthesis in this model serves mainly to provide a substrate for the regeneration of NAD that may be required for the orderly completion of the final cycle of bacillary replication before oxygen limitation stops growth completely. This orderly shutdown is essential to continued survival of M. tuberculosis in a quiescent form. (+info)
An in vitro model for sequential study of shiftdown of Mycobacterium tuberculosis through two stages of nonreplicating persistence.
It was demonstrated previously that abrupt transfer of vigorously aerated cultures of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to anaerobic conditions resulted in their rapid death, but gradual depletion of available O2 permitted expression of increased tolerance to anaerobiosis. Those studies used a model based on adaptation of unagitated bacilli as they settled through a self-generated O2 gradient, but the model did not permit examination of homogeneous populations of bacilli during discrete stages in that adaptation. The present report describes a model based on culture of tubercle bacilli in deep liquid medium with very gentle stirring that keeps them in uniform dispersion while controlling the rate at which O2 is depleted. In this model, at least two stages of nonreplicating persistence were seen. The shift into first stage, designated NRP stage 1, occurred abruptly at a point when the declining dissolved O2 level approached 1% saturation. This microaerophilic stage was characterized by a slow rate of increase in turbidity without a corresponding increase in numbers of CFU or synthesis of DNA. However, a high rate of production of glycine dehydrogenase was initiated and sustained while the bacilli were in this state, and a steady ATP concentration was maintained. When the dissolved O2 content of the culture dropped below about 0.06% saturation, the bacilli shifted down abruptly to an anaerobic stage, designated NRP stage 2, in which no further increase in turbidity was seen and the concentration of glycine dehydrogenase declined markedly. The ability of bacilli in NRP stage 2 to survive anaerobically was dependent in part on having spent sufficient transit time in NRP stage 1. The effects of four antimicrobial agents on the bacilli depended on which of the different physiologic stages the bacilli occupied at a given time and reflected the recognized modes of action of these agents. It is suggested that the ability to shift down into one or both of the two nonreplicating stages, corresponding to microaerophilic and anaerobic persistence, is responsible for the ability of tubercle bacilli to lie dormant in the host for long periods of time, with the capacity to revive and activate disease at a later time. The model described here holds promise as a tool to help clarify events at the molecular level that permit the bacilli to persist under adverse conditions and to resume growth when conditions become favorable. The culture model presented here is also useful for screening drugs for the ability to kill tubercle bacilli in their different stages of nonreplicating persistence. (+info)