Selective recovery of RNAs from bacterial pathogens after their internalization by human host cells

Abstract : Selective RNA extractions are required when studying bacterial gene expression within complex mixtures of pathogens and human cells, during adhesion, internalization and survival within the host. New technologies should be developed and implemented to enrich the amount of bacterial RNAs since the majority of RNAs are from the eukaryotic host cells, requiring high read depth coverage to capture the bacterial transcriptomes in dual-RNAseq studies. This will improve our understanding about bacterial adaptation to the host cell defenses, and about how they will adapt to an intracellular life. Here we present an RNA extraction protocol to selectively enrich the lowest bacterial RNA fraction from a mixture of human and bacterial cells, using zirconium beads, with minimal RNA degradation. Zirconium beads have higher capacity to extract bacterial RNAs than glass beads after pathogen internalization. We optimized the beads size and composition for an optimal bacterial lysis and RNA extraction. The protocol was validated on two human cell lines, differentiated macrophages and osteoblasts, with either Gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus) or -negative (Salmonella typhimurium) bacteria. Relative to other published protocols, yield of total RNA recovery was significantly improved, while host cell infection was performed with a lower bacterial inoculum. Within the host, bacterial RNA recovery yields were about sixfold lower than an RNA extraction from pure bacteria, but the quality of the RNA recovered was essentially similar. Bacterial RNA recovery was more efficient for S. aureus than for S. typhimurium, probably due to their higher protection by the Gram-positive cell walls during the early step of eukaryotic cell lysis. These purified bacterial RNAs allow subsequent genes expression studies in the course of host cell-bacteria interactions.
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Simon Raynaud, Helene Le Pabic, Brice Felden. Selective recovery of RNAs from bacterial pathogens after their internalization by human host cells. Methods, Elsevier, 2018, 143, pp.4-11. ⟨10.1016/j.ymeth.2018.04.035⟩. ⟨hal-01861200v2⟩

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