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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Early transcriptional responses of internalization defective Brucella abortus mutants in professional phagocytes, RAW 264.7

Seung Bin Cha1, Won Jung Lee1, Min Kyoung Shin1, Myung Hwan Jung1, Seung Won Shin1, An Na Yoo1, Jong Wan Kim2 and Han Sang Yoo1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Infectious Diseases, College of Veterinary Medicine, Brain Korea 21 for Veterinary Science, Seoul National University, Seoul 151-742, South Korea

2 Animal and Plant Quarantine Agency, Anyang 430-016, Kyunggi, South Korea

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BMC Genomics 2013, 14:426  doi:10.1186/1471-2164-14-426

Published: 27 June 2013



Brucella abortus is an intracellular zoonotic pathogen which causes undulant fever, endocarditis, arthritis and osteomyelitis in human and abortion and infertility in cattle. This bacterium is able to invade and replicate in host macrophage instead of getting removed by this defense mechanism. Therefore, understanding the interaction between virulence of the bacteria and the host cell is important to control brucellosis. Previously, we generated internalization defective mutants and analyzed the envelope proteins. The present study was undertaken to evaluate the changes in early transcriptional responses between wild type and internalization defective mutants infected mouse macrophage, RAW 264.7.


Both of the wild type and mutant infected macrophages showed increased expression levels in proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, apoptosis and G-protein coupled receptors (Gpr84, Gpr109a and Adora2b) while the genes related with small GTPase which mediate intracellular trafficking was decreased. Moreover, cytohesin 1 interacting protein (Cytip) and genes related to ubiquitination (Arrdc3 and Fbxo21) were down-regulated, suggesting the survival strategy of this bacterium. However, we could not detect any significant changes in the mutant infected groups compared to the wild type infected group.


In summary, it was very difficult to clarify the alterations in host cellular transcription in response to infection with internalization defective mutants. However, we found several novel gene changes related to the GPCR system, ubiquitin-proteosome system, and growth arrest and DNA damages in response to B. abortus infection. These findings may contribute to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions and need to be studied further.

Brucella abortus; Infection; Macrophage; Response; Transcription