Mycobacterium tuberculosis gene expression during adaptation to stationary phase and low-oxygen dormancy

Tuberculosis (Edinb). 2004;84(3-4):218-27. doi: 10.1016/


The innate mechanisms used by Mycobacterium tuberculosis to persist during periods of non-proliferation are central to understanding the physiology of the bacilli during latent disease. We have used whole genome expression profiling to expose adaptive mechanisms initiated by M. tuberculosis in two common models of M. tuberculosis non-proliferation. The first of these models was a standard growth curve in which gene expression changes were followed from exponential growth through the transition to stationary phase. In the second model, we followed the adaptive process of M. tuberculosis during transition from aerobic growth to a state of anaerobic non-replicating persistence. The most striking finding from these experiments was the strong induction of the entire DosR "dormancy" regulon over approximately 20 days during the long transition to an anaerobic state. This is contrasted by the muted overall response to aerated stationary phase with only a partial dormancy regulon response. From the results presented here we conclude that the respiration-limited environment of the oxygen-depleted NRP model recreates at least one fundamental factor for which the genome of M. tuberculosis encodes a decisive adaptive program.

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

  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Anaerobiosis / physiology
  • Cluster Analysis
  • DNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial / physiology*
  • Genes, Bacterial / genetics
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / genetics*
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / growth & development
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis / physiology
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics


  • DNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Messenger