Localization and Expression of MreB in Vibrio parahaemolyticus under Different Stresses
AbstractLocalization and Expression of MreB in Vibrio parahaemolyticus under Different Stresses ▿ Shen-Wen Chiu , Shau-Yan Chen and Hin-chung Wong * Department of Microbiology, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan 111, Republic of China ABSTRACT MreB, the homolog of eukaryotic actin, may play a vital role when prokaryotes cope with stress by altering their spatial organization, including their morphology, subcellular architecture, and localization of macromolecules. This study investigates the behavior of MreB in Vibrio parahaemolyticus under various stresses. The behavior of MreB was probed using a yellow fluorescent protein-MreB conjugate in merodiploid strain SC9. Under normal growth conditions, MreB formed helical filaments in exponential-phase cells. The shape of starved or stationary-phase cells changed from rods to small spheroids. The cells differentiated into the viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state with small spherical cells via a “swelling-waning” process. In all cases, drastic remodeling of the MreB cytoskeleton was observed. MreB helices typically were loosened and fragmented into short filaments, arcs, and spots in bacteria under these stresses. The disintegrated MreB exhibited a strong tendency to attach to the cytoplasmic membrane. The expression of mreB generally declined in bacteria in the stationary phase and under starvation but was upregulated during the initial periods of cold shock and VBNC state differentiation and decreased afterwards. Our findings demonstrated the behavior of MreB in the morphological changes of V. parahaemolyticus under intrinsic or extrinsic stresses and may have important implications for studying the cellular stress response and aging.