|TIAB (Title and Abstract)|
|Using Microtiter Dish Radiolabeling for Multiple In Vivo Measurements Of Escherichia coli (p)ppGpp Followed by Thin Layer Chromatography.|
The (p)ppGpp nucleotide functions as a global regulator in bacteria in response to a variety of physical and nutritional stress. It has a rapid onset, in seconds, which leads to accumulation of levels that approach or exceed those of GTP pools. Stress reversal occasions a rapid disappearance of (p)ppGpp, often with a half-life of less than a minute. The presence of (p)ppGpp results in alterations of cellular gene expression and metabolism that counter the damaging effects of stress. Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria have different response mechanisms, but both depend on (p)ppGpp concentration. In any event, there is a need to simultaneously monitor many radiolabeled bacterial cultures at time intervals that may vary from 10 seconds to hours during critical stress transition periods. This protocol addresses this technical challenge. The method takes advantage of temperature- and shaker-controlled microtiter dish incubators that allow parallel monitoring of growth (absorbance) and rapid sampling of uniformly phosphate-radiolabeled cultures to resolve and quantitate nucleotide pools by thin-layer chromatography on PEI-cellulose. Small amounts of sample are needed for multiple technical and biological replicates of analyses. Complex growth transitions, such as diauxic growth and rapid (p)ppGpp turnover rates can be quantitatively assessed by this method.