Pyrococcus furiosus is a remarkable archaeon able to grow at temperatures around 100 °C. To gain insight into how this model hyperthermophile copes with heat stress, we compared transcriptomic and metabolomic data of cells subjected to a temperature shift from 90 °C to 97 °C. In this study, we used RNA-sequencing to characterize the global variation in gene expression levels, while nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and targeted ion exchange liquid chromatography–mass spectrometry (LC–MS) were used to determine changes in metabolite levels. Of the 552 differentially expressed genes in response to heat shock conditions, 257 were upregulated and 295 were downregulated. In particular, there was a significant downregulation of genes for synthesis and transport of amino acids. At the metabolite level, 37 compounds were quantified. The level of di-myo-inositol phosphate, a canonical heat stress solute among marine hyperthermophiles, increased considerably (5.4-fold) at elevated temperature. Also, the levels of mannosylglycerate, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine (UDPGlcNac) and UDP-N-acetylgalactosamine were enhanced. The increase in the pool of UDPGlcNac was concurrent with an increase in the transcript levels of the respective biosynthetic genes. This work provides the first metabolomic analysis of the heat shock response of a hyperthermophile.
- Heat shock
- Pyrococcus furiosus