Deciphering the physiological blueprint of a bacterial cell

Revelations of unanticipated complexity in transcriptome and proteome

Authors

  • Alejandro Toledo-Arana,

    Corresponding author
    1. Laboratory of Microbial Biofilms, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, Universidad Pública de Navarra-CSIC-Gobierno de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, Pamplona, Spain
    • Laboratory of Microbial Biofilms, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, Universidad Pública de Navarra-CSIC-Gobierno de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, Pamplona, Spain.
    Search for more papers by this author
  • Cristina Solano

    1. Laboratory of Microbial Biofilms, Instituto de Agrobiotecnología, Universidad Pública de Navarra-CSIC-Gobierno de Navarra, Campus de Arrosadía, Pamplona, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author

Abstract

During the last few months, several pioneer genome-wide transcriptomic, proteomic and metabolomic studies have revolutionised the understanding of bacterial biological processes, leading to a picture that resembles eukaryotic complexity. Technological advances such as next-generation high-throughput sequencing and high-density oligonucleotide microarrays have allowed the determination, in several bacteria, of the entire boundaries of all expressed transcripts. Consequently, novel RNA-mediated regulatory mechanisms have been discovered including multifunctional RNAs. Moreover, resolution of bacterial proteome organisation (interactome) and global protein localisation (localizome) have unveiled an unanticipated complexity that highlights the significance of protein multifunctionality and localisation in the cell. Also, analysis of a complete bacterial metabolic network has again revealed a high fraction of multifunctional enzymes and an unexpectedly high level of metabolic responses and adaptation. Altogether, these novel approaches have permitted the deciphering of the entire physiological landscape of one of the smallest bacteria, Mycoplasma pneumoniae. Here, we summarise and discuss recent findings aimed at defining the blueprint of any prokaryote.

Ancillary