Posttranscriptional Regulation in Response to Different Environmental Stresses in Campylobacter jejuni

Stephen Li, Jenna Lam, Leonidas Souliotis, Mohammad Tauqeer Alam, Chrystala Constantinidou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The survival strategies that Campylobacter jejuni (C. jejuni) employ throughout its transmission and infection life cycles remain largely elusive. Specifically, there is a lack of understanding about the posttranscriptional regulation of stress adaptations resulting from small noncoding RNAs (sRNAs). Published C. jejuni sRNAs have been discovered in specific conditions but with limited insights into their biological activities. Many more sRNAs are yet to be discovered as they may be condition-dependent. Here, we have generated transcriptomic data from 21 host- and transmission-relevant conditions. The data uncovered transcription start sites, expression patterns and posttranscriptional regulation during various stress conditions. This data set helped predict a list of putative sRNAs. We further explored the sRNAs’ biological functions by integrating differential gene expression analysis, coexpression analysis, and genome-wide sRNA target prediction. The results showed that the C. jejuni gene expression was influenced primarily by nutrient deprivation and food storage conditions. Further exploration revealed a putative sRNA (CjSA21) that targeted tlp1 to 4 under food processing conditions. tlp1 to 4 are transcripts that encode methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs), which are responsible for chemosensing. These results suggested CjSA21 inhibits chemotaxis and promotes survival under food processing conditions. This study presents the broader research community with a comprehensive data set and highlights a novel sRNA as a potential chemotaxis inhibitor. IMPORTANCE The foodborne pathogen C. jejuni is a significant challenge for the global health care system. It is crucial to investigate C. jejuni posttranscriptional regulation by small RNAs (sRNAs) in order to understand how it adapts to different stress conditions. However, limited data are available for investigating sRNA activity under stress. In this study, we generate gene expression data of C. jejuni under 21 stress conditions. Our data analysis indicates that one of the novel sRNAs mediates the adaptation to food processing conditions. Results from our work shed light on the posttranscriptional regulation of C. jejuni and identify an sRNA associated with food safety.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMicrobiology spectrum
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022


  • bioinformatics
  • C. jejuni
  • signal transduction
  • sRNA
  • transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Ecology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • Genetics
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Cell Biology
  • Infectious Diseases


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