DOI: 10.3390/epigenomes7040030 ISSN: 2075-4655

Comparison of Yersinia enterocolitica DNA Methylation at Ambient and Host Temperatures

Dustin J. Van Hofwegen, Carolyn J. Hovde, Scott A. Minnich
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis
  • Genetics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology (miscellaneous)
  • Biochemistry

Pathogenic bacteria recognize environmental cues to vary gene expression for host adaptation. Moving from ambient to host temperature, Yersinia enterocolitica responds by immediately repressing flagella synthesis and inducing the virulence plasmid (pYV)-encoded type III secretion system. In contrast, shifting from host to ambient temperature requires 2.5 generations to restore motility, suggesting a link to the cell cycle. We hypothesized that differential DNA methylation contributes to temperature-regulated gene expression. We tested this hypothesis by comparing single-molecule real-time (SMRT) sequencing of Y. enterocolitica DNA from cells growing exponentially at 22 °C and 37 °C. The inter-pulse duration ratio rather than the traditional QV scoring was the kinetic metric to compare DNA from cells grown at each temperature. All 565 YenI restriction sites were fully methylated at both temperatures. Among the 27,118 DNA adenine methylase (Dam) sites, 42 had differential methylation patterns, while 17 remained unmethylated regardless of the temperature. A subset of the differentially methylated Dam sites localized to promoter regions of predicted regulatory genes including LysR-type and PadR-like transcriptional regulators and a cyclic-di-GMP phosphodiesterase. The unmethylated Dam sites localized with a bias to the replication terminus, suggesting they were protected from Dam methylase. No cytosine methylation was detected at Dcm sites.

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