Dual-seq transcriptomics reveals the battle for iron during Pseudomonas aeruginosa acute murine pneumonia

Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 16;6:39172. doi: 10.1038/srep39172.


Determining bacterial gene expression during infection is fundamental to understand pathogenesis. In this study, we used dual RNA-seq to simultaneously measure P. aeruginosa and the murine host's gene expression and response to respiratory infection. Bacterial genes encoding products involved in metabolism and virulence were differentially expressed during infection and the type III and VI secretion systems were highly expressed in vivo. Strikingly, heme acquisition, ferric-enterobactin transport, and pyoverdine biosynthesis genes were found to be significantly up-regulated during infection. In the mouse, we profiled the acute immune response to P. aeruginosa and identified the pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in acute response to the bacterium in the lung. Additionally, we also identified numerous host iron sequestration systems upregulated during infection. Overall, this work sheds light on how P. aeruginosa triggers a pro-inflammatory response and competes for iron with the host during infection, as iron is one of the central elements for which both pathogen and host fight during acute pneumonia.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions / genetics
  • Iron / metabolism*
  • Lung / metabolism
  • Lung / microbiology
  • Macrophages / cytology
  • Macrophages / immunology
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Proteome / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas Infections / metabolism
  • Pseudomonas Infections / microbiology
  • Pseudomonas Infections / pathology*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / chemistry
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa / pathogenicity
  • RNA / chemistry
  • RNA / isolation & purification
  • RNA / metabolism
  • RNA, Bacterial / chemistry
  • RNA, Bacterial / isolation & purification
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA, Untranslated / metabolism
  • Sequence Analysis, RNA
  • Transcriptome
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Cytokines
  • Proteome
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • RNA, Untranslated
  • RNA
  • Iron