The Listeria monocytogenes hibernation-promoting factor is required for the formation of 100S ribosomes, optimal fitness, and pathogenesis.
- Author(s): Kline, Benjamin C
- McKay, Susannah L
- Tang, William W
- Portnoy, Daniel A
- et al.
Published Web Locationhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25422304
During exposure to certain stresses, bacteria dimerize pairs of 70S ribosomes into translationally silent 100S particles in a process called ribosome hibernation. Although the biological roles of ribosome hibernation are not completely understood, this process appears to represent a conserved and adaptive response that contributes to optimal survival during stress and post-exponential-phase growth. Hibernating ribosomes are formed by the activity of one or more highly conserved proteins; gammaproteobacteria produce two relevant proteins, ribosome modulation factor (RMF) and hibernation promoting factor (HPF), while most Gram-positive bacteria produce a single, longer HPF protein. Here, we report the formation of 100S ribosomes by an HPF homolog in Listeria monocytogenes. L. monocytogenes 100S ribosomes were observed by sucrose density gradient centrifugation of bacterial extracts during mid-logarithmic phase, peaked at the transition to stationary phase, and persisted at lower levels during post-exponential-phase growth. 100S ribosomes were undetectable in bacteria carrying an hpf::Himar1 transposon insertion, indicating that HPF is required for ribosome hibernation in L. monocytogenes. Additionally, epitope-tagged HPF cosedimented with 100S ribosomes, supporting its previously described direct role in 100S formation. We examined hpf mRNA by quantitative PCR (qPCR) and identified several conditions that upregulated its expression, including carbon starvation, heat shock, and exposure to high concentrations of salt or ethanol. Survival of HPF-deficient bacteria was impaired under certain conditions both in vitro and during animal infection, providing evidence for the biological relevance of 100S ribosome formation.