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MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry for quantitative gene expression analysis of acid responses in Staphylococcus aureus

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Journal of Microbiological Methods ; Volume 78. p. 86–93. 2009

Rode, Tone Mari; Berget, Ingunn; Langsrud, Solveig; Møretrø, Trond; Holck, Askild Lorentz

Microorganisms are constantly exposed to new and altered growth conditions, and respond by changing gene expression patterns. Several methods for studying gene expression exist. During the last decade, the analysis of microarrays has been one of the most common approaches applied for large scale gene expression studies. A relatively new method for gene expression analysis is MassARRAY, which combines real competitive-PCR and MALDI-TOF (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight) mass spectrometry. In contrast to microarray methods, MassARRAY technology is suitable for analysing a larger number of samples, though for a smaller set of genes. In this study we compare the results from MassARRAY with microarrays on gene expression responses of Staphylococcus aureus exposed to acid stress at pH 4.5. RNA isolated from the same stress experiments was analysed using both the MassARRAY and the microarray methods. The MassARRAY and microarray methods showed good correlation. Both MassARRAY and microarray estimated somewhat lower fold changes compared with quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR). The results confirmed the up-regulation of the urease genes in acidic environments, and also indicated the importance of metal ion regulation. This study shows that the MassARRAY technology is suitable for gene expression analysis in prokaryotes, and has advantages when a set of genes is being analysed for an organism exposed to many different environmental conditions. (C) 2009 Published by Elsevier B.V.

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