Planta Med 2009; 75(4): 396-398
DOI: 10.1055/s-0028-1088381
Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Microarray Expression Profiling of Yersinia pestis in Response to Berberine

Jingling Zhang1 , Guowei Zuo1 , Qunhua Bai1 , Yingxiong Wang1 , 2 , Ruifu Yang3 , Jingfu Qiu1 , 2
  • 1Department of Health Laboratory Technology, School of Public Health, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China
  • 2Center of Pharmacogenomics, Institute of Life Science, Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, P.R. China
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Pathogen and Biosecurity, Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology, Academy of Military Medical Sciences, Beijing, P.R. China
* J. Zhang and G. Zuo contributed equally to this work
Further Information

Publication History

Received: August 28, 2008 Revised: October 24, 2008

Accepted: October 30, 2008

Publication Date:
03 December 2008 (online)


Coptis chinensis Franch. is a natural herb widely used in China for prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. Plague is a deadly disease caused by Yersinia pestis. Coptis chinensis Franch. is considered the therapeutic agent of choice against plague rather than conventional antibiotics because of its low cost and low toxicity. Berberine is the major constituent of a Coptis chinensis Franch. extract. In the present study, DNA microarray was used to investigate the transcription of Y. pestis in response to berberine. The minimal inhibition concentration (MIC) of berberine to Y. pestis was determined with the liquid dilution method. The gene expression profile of Y. pestis was performed by exposing Y. pestis to berberine at a concentration of 10 × MIC for 30 min. Total RNA was extracted and purified from Y. pestis, reverse-transcribed to cDNA, and then labeled with Cy-dye probes. The labeled probes were hybridized to the microarray. The results were obtained by a laser scanner and analyzed with SAM software. A total of 360 genes were differentially expressed in response to berberine: 333 genes were upregulated, and 27 were downregulated. The upregulation of genes that encode proteins involved in metabolism was a remarkable change. In addition to a number of genes of unknown encoding or unassigned functions, genes encoding cellular envelope and transport/binding functions represented the majority of the altered genes. A number of genes related to iron uptake were induced. This study revealed global transcriptional changes of Y. pestis in response to berberine, hence providing insights into the mechanisms of Coptis chinensis Franch. against Y. pestis.


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School of Public Health

Chongqing Medical University

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