Characterisation of genes differentially expressed in macrophages by virulent and attenuated Mycobacterium tuberculosis through RNA-Seq analysis

Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 11;9(1):4027. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-40814-0.


Tuberculosis (TB) remains a global healthcare issue. Understanding the host-pathogen interactions in TB is vital to develop strategies and therapeutic tools for the control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). In this study, transcriptome analyses of macrophages infected with either the virulent Mtb strain H37Rv (Rv) or the avirulent Mtb strain H37Ra (Ra) were carried out and 750 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified. As expected, the DEGs were mainly involved in the induction of innate immune responses against mycobacterial infections. Among the DEGs, solute carrier family 7 member 2 (Slc7a2) was more strongly expressed in Ra-infected macrophages. Induction of SLC7A2 was important for macrophages to control the intracellular survival of Mtb. Our results imply that SLC7A2 plays an important role in macrophages during Mtb infection. Our findings could prove useful for the development of new therapeutic strategies to control TB infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic / physiology*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions
  • Macrophages / metabolism*
  • Macrophages / microbiology*
  • Macrophages / pathology
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / pathogenicity
  • Mycobacterium tuberculosis* / physiology
  • RNA-Seq / methods
  • Tuberculosis* / immunology
  • Tuberculosis* / microbiology
  • Virulence


  • Amino Acid Transport Systems, Basic
  • Slc7a2 protein, mouse