Multi-level evaluation of Escherichia coli polyphosphate related mutants using global transcriptomic, proteomic and phenomic analyses

Macarena Varas, Camilo Valdivieso, Cecilia Mauriaca, Javiera Ortíz-Severín, Alberto Paradela, Ignacio Poblete-Castro, Ricardo Cabrera, Francisco P. Chávez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Background Polyphosphate (polyP) is a linear biopolymer found in all living cells. In bacteria, mutants lacking polyphosphate kinase 1 (PPK1), the enzyme responsible for synthesis of most polyP, have many structural and functional defects. However, little is known about the causes of these pleiotropic alterations. The link between ppk1 deletion and those numerous phenotypes observed can be the result of complex molecular interactions that can be elucidated via a systems biology approach. Methods By integrating different omics levels (transcriptome, proteome and phenome), we described the functioning of various metabolic pathways among Escherichia coli polyphosphate mutant strains (Δppk1, Δppx, and ΔpolyP). Bioinformatic analyses reveal the complex metabolic and regulatory bases of the phenotypes unique to polyP mutants. Results Our results suggest that during polyP deficiency (Δppk1 mutant), metabolic pathways needed for energy supply are up-regulated, including fermentation, aerobic and anaerobic respiration. Transcriptomic and q-proteomic contrasting changes between Δppk1 and Δppx mutant strains were observed in those central metabolic pathways and confirmed by using Phenotypic microarrays. In addition, our results suggest a regulatory connection between polyP, second messenger metabolism, alternative Sigma/Anti-Sigma factors and type-II toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems. Conclusions We suggest a broader role for polyP via regulation of ATP-dependent proteolysis of type II toxin-antitoxin system and alternative Sigma/Anti-Sigma factors, that could explain the multiple structural and functional deficiencies described due to alteration of polyP metabolism. General significance Understanding the interplay of polyP in bacterial metabolism using a systems biology approach can help to improve design of novel antimicrobials toward pathogens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)871-883
Number of pages13
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - General Subjects
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


  • Omics
  • Phenotypic microarray
  • PolyP-dependent proteolysis
  • Polyphosphate
  • Q-proteomics
  • Systems Biology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Multi-level evaluation of Escherichia coli polyphosphate related mutants using global transcriptomic, proteomic and phenomic analyses'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this