Transcriptional analysis of dynamic heat-shock response by the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima

Extremophiles. 2004 Jun;8(3):209-17. doi: 10.1007/s00792-004-0379-2. Epub 2004 Feb 27.


The thermal stress response of the hyperthermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima was characterized using a 407-open reading frame-targeted cDNA microarray. Transient gene expression was followed for 90 min, following a shift from 80 degrees C to 90 degrees C. While some aspects of mesophilic heat-shock response were conserved in T. maritima, genome content suggested differentiating features that were borne out by transcriptional analysis. Early induction of predicted heat-shock operons hrcA-grpE-dnaJ (TM0851-TM0850-TM0849), groES-groEL (TM0505-TM0506), and dnaK-sHSP (TM0373-TM0374) was consistent with conserved CIRCE elements upstream of hrcA and groES. Induction of the T. maritima rpoE/ sigW and rpoD/ sigA homologs suggests a mechanism for global heat-shock response in the absence of an identifiable ortholog to a major heat-shock sigma factor. In contrast to heat-shock response in Escherichia coli, the majority of genes encoding ATP-dependent proteases were downregulated, including clpP (TM0695), clpQ (TM0521), clpY (TM0522), lonA (TM1633), and lonB (TM1869). Notably, T. maritima showed indications of a late heat-shock response with the induction of a marR homolog (TM0816), several other putative transcriptional regulators (TM1023, TM1069), and two alpha-glucosidases (TM0434 and TM1068). Taken together, the results reported here indicate that, while T. maritima shares core elements of the bacterial heat-shock response with mesophiles, the thermal stress regulatory strategies of this organism differ significantly. However, it remains to be elucidated whether these differences are related to thermophilicity or phylogenetic placement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Base Sequence
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Endopeptidases / genetics
  • Gene Expression
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Heat-Shock Response / genetics*
  • Hot Temperature
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • SOS Response, Genetics
  • Sigma Factor / genetics
  • Thermotoga maritima / genetics*
  • Thermotoga maritima / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Sigma Factor
  • Endopeptidases