Mycoplasma genitalium is the causative agent of non-gonococcal, chlamydia-negative urethritis in men and has been linked to reproductive tract disease syndromes in women. As with other mycoplasmas, M. genitalium lacks many regulatory genes because of its streamlined genome and total dependence on a parasitic existence. Therefore, it is important to understand how gene regulation occurs in M. genitalium, particularly in response to environmental signals likely to be encountered in vivo. In this study, we developed an oligonucleotide-based microarray to investigate transcriptional changes in M. genitalium following osmotic shock. Using a physiologically relevant osmolarity condition (0.3 M sodium chloride), we identified 39 upregulated and 72 downregulated genes. Of the upregulated genes, 21 were of unknown function and 15 encoded membrane-associated proteins. The majority of downregulated genes encoded enzymes involved in energy metabolism and components of the protein translation process. These data provide insights into the in vivo response of M. genitalium to hyperosmolarity conditions and identify candidate genes that may contribute to mycoplasma survival in the urogenital tract.
ASJC Scopus subject areas