Mechanisms that enable Enterococcus to cope with different environmental stresses and their contribution to the switch from commensalism to pathogenicity of this organism are still poorly understood. Maintenance of intracellular homeostasis of metal ions is crucial for survival of these bacteria. In particular Zn(2+), Mn(2+) and Cu(2+) are very important metal ions as they are co-factors of many enzymes, are involved in oxidative stress defense and have a role in the immune system of the host. Their concentrations inside the human body vary hugely, which makes it imperative for Enterococcus to fine-tune metal ion homeostasis in order to survive inside the host and colonize it. Little is known about metal regulation in Enterococcus faecalis. Here we present the first genome-wide description of gene expression of E. faecalis V583 growing in the presence of high concentrations of zinc, manganese or copper ions. The DNA microarray experiments revealed that mostly transporters are involved in the responses of E. faecalis to prolonged exposure to high metal concentrations although genes involved in cellular processes, in energy and amino acid metabolisms and genes related to the cell envelope also seem to play important roles.
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2011|