Transcriptome profiling in imipenem-selected Acinetobacter baumannii

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© 2014 Chang et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Background: Carbapenem-resistance in Acinetobacter baumannii has gradually become a global challenge. To identify the genes involved in carbapenem resistance in A. baumannii, the transcriptomic responses of the completely sequenced strain ATCC 17978 selected with 0.5 mg/L (IPM-2 m) and 2 mg/L (IPM-8 m) imipenem were investigated using RNA-sequencing to identify differences in the gene expression patterns.Results: A total of 88 and 68 genes were differentially expressed in response to IPM-2 m and IPM-8 m selection, respectively. Among the expressed genes, 50 genes were highly expressed in IPM-2 m, 30 genes were highly expressed in IPM-8 m, and 38 genes were expressed common in both strains. Six groups of genes were simultaneously expressed in IPM-2 m and IPM-8 m mutants. The three gene groups involved in DNA recombination were up-regulated, including recombinase, transposase and DNA repair, and beta-lactamase OXA-95 and homologous recombination. The remaining gene groups involved in biofilm formation were down-regulated, including quorum sensing, secretion systems, and the csu operon. The antibiotic resistance determinants, including RND efflux transporters and multidrug resistance pumps, were over-expressed in response to IPM-2 m selection, followed by a decrease in response to IPM-8 m selection. Among the genes over-expressed in both strains, bla OXA-95, previously clustered with the bla OXA-51-like family, showed 14-fold (IPM-2 m) to 330-fold (IPM-8 m) over-expression. The expression of bla OXA-95 in IPM-2 m and IPM-8 m cells was positively correlated with the rate of imipenem hydrolysis, as demonstrated through Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry/Mass Spectrometry, suggesting that bla OXA-95 plays a critical role in conferring carbapenem resistance. In addition, A. baumannii shows an inverse relationship between carbapenem resistance and biofilm production.Conclusion: Gene recombination and bla OXA-95 play critical roles in carbapenem resistance in A. baumannii. Taken together, the results of the present study provide a foundation for future studies of the network systems associated with carbapenem resistance.




Chang, K. C., Kuo, H. Y., Tang, C. Y., Chang, C. W., Lu, C. W., Liu, C. C., … Liou, M. L. (2014). Transcriptome profiling in imipenem-selected Acinetobacter baumannii. BMC Genomics, 15(1).

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