Bacterial production of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) has recently received great attention because of the potential health benefits of this fatty acid. Linoleic acid (LA) can be converted to CLA by several microorganisms, including bifidobacteria, possibly as a detoxification mechanism to avoid the growth inhibition effect of LA. In the present in vitro study, we investigated the gene expression landscape of the intestinal strain Bifidobacterium breve DSM 20213 when exposed to LA. Transcriptomic analysis using RNA-seq revealed that LA induced a multifactorial stress response in the test strain, including upregulation of genes involved in iron uptake and downregulation of genes involved in sugar and oligopeptide transport. We also observed reduced transcription of genes involved in membrane and pili biosynthesis. The upregulation of iron uptake was not related to any putative ability of LA to chelate Fe2+, but was somewhat linked to stress response. Furthermore, we demonstrated that LA increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) production in bacterial cells, activating an oxidative stress response. This response was proved by thioredoxin reductase transcription, and was primarily evident among bacteria cultured in the absence of cysteine. This is the first report of the potential mechanisms involved in bacterial LA transport and stress response in B. breve.
- Bifidobacterium breve DSM 20213
- Conjugated linoleic acid
- Linoleic acid
- Stress response
- Transcriptomic analysis