Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology
Borrelia burgdorferi, the spirochetal agent of Lyme disease, is maintained in nature in a cycle involving a tick vector and a mammalian host. Adaptation to the diverse conditions of temperature, pH, oxygen tension and nutrient availability in these two environments requires the precise orchestration of gene expression. Over 25 microarray analyses relating to B. burgdorferi genomics and transcriptomics have been published. The majority of these studies has explored the global transcriptome under a variety of conditions and has contributed substantially to the current understanding of B. burgdorferi transcriptional regulation. In this review, we present a summary of these studies with particular focus on those that helped define the roles of transcriptional regulators in modulating gene expression in the tick and mammalian milieus. By performing comparative analysis of results derived from the published microarray expression profiling studies, we identified composite gene lists comprising differentially expressed genes in these two environments. Further, we explored the overlap between the regulatory circuits that function during the tick and mammalian phases of the enzootic cycle. Taken together, the data indicate that there is interplay among the distinct signaling pathways that function in feeding ticks and during adaptation to growth in the mammal.
Iyer, R., & Schwartz, I. (2016). Microarray-based comparative genomic and transcriptome analysis of borrelia burgdorferi. Microarrays (Basel, Switzerland), 5(2), 9. doi:10.3390/microarrays5020009