The impact of PrsA over-expression on the Bacillus subtilis transcriptome during fed-batch fermentation of alpha-amylase production

Front Microbiol. 2022 Aug 4:13:909493. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2022.909493. eCollection 2022.


The production of the alpha-amylase (AMY) enzyme in Bacillus subtilis at a high rate leads to the accumulation of unfolded AMY, which causes secretion stress. The over-expression of the PrsA chaperone aids enzyme folding and reduces stress. To identify affected pathways and potential mechanisms involved in the reduced growth, we analyzed the transcriptomic differences during fed-batch fermentation between a PrsA over-expressing strain and control in a time-series RNA-seq experiment. We observe transcription in 542 unannotated regions, of which 234 had significant changes in expression levels between the samples. Moreover, 1,791 protein-coding sequences, 80 non-coding genes, and 20 riboswitches overlapping UTR regions of coding genes had significant changes in expression. We identified putatively regulated biological processes via gene-set over-representation analysis of the differentially expressed genes; overall, the analysis suggests that the PrsA over-expression affects ATP biosynthesis activity, amino acid metabolism, and cell wall stability. The investigation of the protein interaction network points to a potential impact on cell motility signaling. We discuss the impact of these highlighted mechanisms for reducing secretion stress or detrimental aspects of PrsA over-expression during AMY production.

Keywords: Bacillus subtilis; PrsA; RNA sequencing (RNA-seq); alpha-amylase; enzyme produced by microorganism.