Lipid composition and transcriptional response of Mycobacterium tuberculosis grown under iron-limitation in continuous culture: identification of a novel wax ester

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


  • J Bacon
  • KA Hatch
  • Y Zhang
  • Jessica Gomes
  • S Kendall
  • L Wernisch
  • NG Stoker
  • PD Butcher
  • PD Marsh

Colleges, School and Institutes


The low level of available iron in vivo is a major obstacle for microbial pathogens and is a stimulus for the expression of virulence genes. In this study, Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv was grown aerobically in the presence of limited iron availability in chemostat culture to determine the physiological response of the organism to iron-limitation. A previously unidentified wax ester accumulated under iron-limited growth, and changes in the abundance of triacylglycerol and menacluinone were also observed between iron-replete and iron-limited chemostat cultures. DNA microarray analysis revealed differential expression of genes involved in glycerolipid metabolism and isoprenoid quinone biosynthesis, providing some insight into the underlying genetic changes that correlate with cell-wall lipid profiles of M. tuberculosis growing in an iron-limited environment.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1435-1444
Number of pages10
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2007

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