Expression of Porphyromonas gingivalis small RNA in response to hemin availability identified using microarray and RNA-seq analysis



There is a significant body of work suggesting that sRNA-mediated post-transcriptional regulation is a conserved mechanism among pathogenic bacteria to modulate bacterial virulence and survival. Porphyromonas gingivalis is recognized as an etiological agent of periodontitis and implicated in contributing to the development of multiple inflammatory diseases including cardiovascular disease. Using NimbleGen microarray analysis and a strand-specific method to sequence cDNA libraries of small RNA-enriched P. gingivalis transcripts using Illumina's high-throughput sequencing technology, we identified putative sRNA and generated sRNA expression profiles in response to growth phase, hemin availability after hemin starvation, or both. We identified transcripts that mapped to intergenic sequences as well as antisense transcripts that mapped to open reading frames of the annotated genome. Overall, this approach provided a comprehensive way to survey transcriptional activity to discover functionally linked RNA transcripts, responding to specific environmental cues, that merit further investigation.