Proteomic Studies of Low Temperature Adaptations in Permafrost Bacteria

In the discussion of bacterial low-temperature adaptation, specific sets of cold-induced proteins (CIPs) have been considered to facilitate and allow cell growth at low temperature. CIPs are defined as proteins that are preferentially or uniquely present at low temperatures, and are thought to contribute specially to the ability of organisms to function at low temperatures (Fukunaga et al. 1999). CIPs could be further classified into cold-shock proteins (CSPs) and cold-acclimation proteins (CAPs).The term "CSPs" is used here for proteins that are transiently over-expressed after an abrupt shift to a low temperature, and the term "CAPs" is used for the proteins synthesized at a greater level during continuous growth at low temperatures as compared with high temperatures. CSPs and CAPs have been considered to facilitate and allow cell growth at low temperatures, and both sets of proteins may share functionality at both the molecular and cellular level (Whyte and Inniss 1992; Bayles et al. 1996; Berger et al. 1996; Panoff et al. 1997). Similarities between the CSPs and CAPs may suggest that these proteins are of significance to both shock recovery as well as constant growth in a new environment. The synthesis of CIPs in response to continuous growth at low temperatures in comparison to optimal growth temperature has been studied in two strains of the genus Exiguobacterium and two strains of the genus Psychrobacter isolated from Siberian permafrost and water brine samples (Table 12.1).

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