This finding was not surprising, as higher expression levels of mexB and mexD are to be expected in mexR or nfxB mutants (Dumas et al., 2006). The nature of the specific beneficial adaptive mechanisms in the tolerant bacterial population is under investigation in our lab. To gain insight into the effect of inactivation of genes involved in the GO system on CP-868596 concentration the global gene expression, we studied the transcriptional changes produced by inactivation of the two genes. The inactivation of both mutY and mutM caused significant changes (more than twofold and P-value < 0.05 compared with PAO1) in six genes (Table 4). Remarkable was the up-regulation of pfpI whose product has been shown to have a protective role against
DNA damage caused by the oxidative stress (Rodriguez-Rojas & Blazquez, 2009). This can be considered a compensatory mechanism for the protection of the DNA in PAOMY-Mgm with impaired repair of the DNA oxidative damage. Interestingly, the most significantly down regulated gene was PA5148 involved in iron FDA-approved Drug Library mw trafficking. The modified expression of pfpI and PA5148 expression in PAOMY-Mgm compared with PAO1 was confirmed using RT-PCR, which showed up-regulation of pfpI (9 ± 2.3-fold) and down-regulation of PA5148 (4.04 ± 2.7-fold). Complementation of PAOMY-Mgm,
which showed high expression levels of pfpI and low expression levels of PA5148 compared with PAO1 with wild-type mutM or mutY, reduced the level of pfpI up-regulation to 6 ± 2.4-fold and 4.6 ± 2.4-fold, respectively and the level of PA5148 down-regulation to 1.6 ± 0.09-fold and 2.1 ± 0.25-fold, respectively. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which colonizes and persists within the highly ROS-rich CF airways has to protect itself against the mutagenic effect of ROS and it uses the GO system, consisting of MutT, MutY and MutM to prevent or eliminate the oxidized form of guanine, which is a mutagenic lesion. Homologue proteins are present in other microorganisms as well as in eukaryotic cells. Inactivation
of each of the three genes encoding for the respective proteins led to various degree of increase in the spontaneous MF with mutants in mutY and mutM exhibiting a moderate and weak mutator phenotype (increase in MF < 20 times the MF of PAO1) (Mandsberg et al., Molecular motor 2009; Morero & Argarana, 2009; Sanders et al., 2009). In the present study, we show for the first time that the mutY and mutM double mutant (PAOMY-Mgm) showed a strong mutator phenotype providing evidence for the cooperation of MutM and MutY to prevent mutagenesis in P. aeruginosa, in a similar manner as in E. coli (Michaels et al., 1992; Tajiri et al., 1995). It has been shown that hypermutability plays an important role in the adaptive evolution of P. aeruginosa in the CF lung (Mena et al., 2008), and it has been demonstrated that mutator populations are amplified by hitchhiking with adaptive mutations. The selective pressure exerted by antibiotics plays an important role in the adaptive process of P.