Carbon-energy source starvation is a commonly encountered stress that can influence the epidemiology and virulence of Salmonella enterica serovars. Salmonella responds to C-starvation by eliciting the starvation-stress response (SSR), which allows for long-term C-starvation survival and cross-resistance to other stresses. The stiC locus was identified as a C-starvation-inducible, σ S-dependent locus required for a maximal SSR. We report here that the stiC locus is an operon composed of the yohC (putative transport protein) and pbpG (penicillin-binding protein-7/8) genes. yohC pbpG transcription is initiated from a σ S–dependent C-starvation-inducible promoter upstream of yohC. Another (σ S-independent) promoter, upstream of pbpG, drives lower constitutive pbpG transcription, primarily during exponential phase. C-starvation-inducible pbpG expression was required for development of the SSR in 5 h, but not 24 h, C-starved cells; yohC was dispensable for the SSR. Furthermore, the yohC pbpG operon is induced within MDCK epithelial cells, but was not essential for oral virulence in BALB/c mice. Thus, PBP 7 is required for physiological changes, occurring within the first few hours of C-starvation, essential for the development of the SSR. Lack of PBP 7, however, can be compensated for by further physiological changes developed in 24 h C-starved cells. This supports the dynamic overlapping and distinct nature of resistance pathways within the Salmonella SSR.
Corynebacterium glutamicum cells growing in medium containing sugars accumulate glycogen in the early exponential-growth phase, and start to degrade this polymer at entry into the stationary phase. In a first attempt to investigate glycogen degradation, the C. glutamicum glgX gene, which encodes a protein with 46 % identity to the isoamylase-type debranching enzyme of Escherichia coli, was analysed, expressed and inactivated. The purified C. glutamicum gene product showed debranching activity towards glycogen, amylopectin and starch. Chromosomal inactivation of glgX in C. glutamicum wild-type led to slower growth and to a higher intracellular glycogen pool throughout growth, when compared to those in the parental strain. This result suggests that glycogen synthesis and degradation occur simultaneously in C. glutamicum. When exposed to hyperosmotic shock, C. glutamicum rapidly degrades glycogen, and at the same time, synthesizes the osmoprotectant trehalose. The glgX mutant, however, synthesized only minor amounts of trehalose throughout cultivation, and its growth ceased after hyperosmotic shock. Taken together, the results indicate that the glgX gene product is essential for glycogen degradation in C. glutamicum, that glycogen is constantly recycled in C. glutamicum, and that it serves as a carbon store for trehalose synthesis via the TreYZ pathway after hyperosmotic shock.