Fluorescent pseudomonads secrete yellow-green siderophores named pyoverdines or pseudobactins. These comprise a dihydroxyquinoline derivative joined to a type-specific peptide and, usually, a carboxylic acid or amide. In Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PAO1, six genes that encode proteins required for pyoverdine synthesis (pvd genes) have been identified previously. Expression of all of these genes requires an alternative sigma factor PvdS. The purpose of this research was to identify other genes that are required for pyoverdine synthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. Fourteen candidate genes were identified from the PAO1 genome sequence on the basis of their location in the genome, the functions of homologues in other bacteria, and whether their expression was likely to be PvdS-dependent. The candidate genes were mutated and the effects of the mutations on pyoverdine production were determined. Eight new pvd genes were identified. The presence of homologues of pvd genes in other strains of P. aeruginosa was determined by Southern blotting and in other fluorescent pseudomonads by interrogation of genome sequences. Five pvd genes were restricted to strains of P. aeruginosa that make the same pyoverdine as strain PAO1, suggesting that they direct synthesis of the type-specific peptide. The remaining genes were present in all strains of P. aeruginosa that were examined and homologues were present in other Pseudomonas species. These genes are likely to direct synthesis of the dihydroxyquinoline moiety and the attached carboxylic acid/amide group. It is likely that most if not all of the genes required for pyoverdine synthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1 have now been identified and this will form the basis for a biochemical description of the pathway of pyoverdine synthesis.
Here, the codon usage patterns of two Clostridium species (Clostridium perfringens and Clostridium acetobutylicum) are reported. These prokaryotes are characterized by a strong mutational bias towards A+T, a striking excess of coding sequences and purine-rich leading strands of replication, strong GC-skews and a high frequency of genomic rearrangements. As expected, it was found that the mutational bias dominates codon usage but there is some variation of synonymous codon choices among genes in the two species. This variation was investigated using a multivariate statistical approach. In the two species, two major trends were detected. One was related to the location of the sequences in the leading or lagging strand of replication, and the other was associated with the preferential use of putatively translational optimal codons in heavily expressed genes. Analyses of the estimated number of synonymous and non-synonymous substitutions among orthologous genes permit us to postulate that optimal codons might be selected not only for speed but also for accuracy during translation.
This paper reports the identification of Ehp53, a p53-like Entamoeba histolytica protein, which binds to the human p53 DNA consensus sequence (oli-p53). Monoclonal antibodies against p53 (Ab-1 and Ab-2) recognized a single 53 kDa spot in two-dimensional gels and inhibited the formation of complexes produced by E. histolytica nuclear extracts and oli-p53. Additionally, E. histolytica gene promoter sequences with high homology to oli-p53 formed complexes with nuclear proteins that were abolished by oli-p53. Ehp53 protein levels increased in UV-irradiated trophozoites. This protein was also detected in Entamoeba moshkovskii and Entamoeba invadens. By confocal microscopy, Ehp53 was located in the nuclei, EhkO organelles and cytoplasm. The Ehp53-encoding gene was cloned and its predicted amino acid sequence showed 30–54 % and 50–57 % homology with important domains of the human and the Drosophila melanogaster p53 proteins, respectively. This homology included the tetramerization domain, the nuclear export signal and a nuclear localization signal. Ehp53 also contains seven of the eight DNA-binding residues and two of the four Zn2+-binding sites described for p53. A recombinant Ehp53 was recognized by Ab-2. Ehp53 is believed to be the first p53-like protein found in protozoa and may be the evolutionary ancestor of the mammalian p53.
The important opportunistic pathogen Bacteroides fragilis is a strictly anaerobic Gram-negative bacterium and a member of the normal resident human gastrointestinal microbiota. Our earlier studies indicated that there is considerable within-strain variation in polysaccharide expression, as detected by mAb labelling. Analysis of the genome sequence has revealed multiple invertible DNA regions, designated fragilis invertible (fin) regions, seven of which are upstream of polysaccharide biosynthesis loci and are approximately 226 bp in size. Using orientation-specific PCR primers and sequence analysis with populations enriched for one antigenic type, two of these invertible regions were assigned to heteropolymeric polysaccharides with different sizes of repeating units, as determined by PAGE pattern. The implication of these findings is that inversion of the fin regions switches biosynthesis of these polysaccharides off and on. The invertible regions are bound by inverted repeats of 30 or 32 bp with striking similarity to the Salmonella typhimurium H flagellar antigen inversion cross-over (hix) recombination sites of the invertible hin region. It has been demonstrated that a plasmid-encoded Hin invertase homologue (FinB), present in B. fragilis NCTC 9343, binds specifically to the invertible regions and the recombination sites have been designated as fragilis inversion cross-over (fix) sites.
A new genetic locus was identified in Rhodobacter sphaeroides which is required for optimal synthesis of the light-harvesting spectral complexes as well as for optimal growth under anaerobic conditions with dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) as a terminal electron acceptor. The primary structure of the deduced osp gene product shows significant homology to the receiver domain of known response regulators common to bacterial two-component systems. However, site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the Osp protein appears not to be involved in a phospho-relay signal transduction pathway. Paradoxically, the effect of the Osp protein upon spectral complex levels is exerted at the transcriptional level of photosynthesis gene expression. The absence of the Osp protein does not appear to have a general effect on house-keeping metabolism. In cells lacking Osp, the levels of DMSO reductase appear to be normal. The quaternary structure of the Osp protein was determined to be a homodimer and it was directly demonstrated that Osp does not bind to the promoter region of photosynthesis genes as judged by mobility-shift experiments and primary structure analysis.
Ribonucleotide reductases (RNRs) are a family of complex enzymes that play an essential role in all organisms because they catalyse de novo synthesis of deoxyribonucleotides required for DNA replication and repair. Three different classes of RNR have been described according to their metal cofactors and organic radicals. Class Ib RNR is encoded in four different genes (nrdH, nrdI, nrdE and nrdF) organized in an operon. The authors previously cloned and sequenced the genes encoding the active class Ib RNR of Corynebacterium ammoniagenes and showed that these genes are clustered in an atypical nrdEF region, which differs from that of other known class Ib enzymes because of an intergenic sequence (1171 bp) present between nrdE and nrdF. This study investigated the transcriptional organization and regulation of this nrd region by RT-PCR. Three different and independent mRNA were found (nrdHIE, nrdF and an ORF present in the intergenic region), each one being transcribed from its own promoter and being essential for normal growth. The ratio of nrdF to nrdHIE mRNA was 9·1, as determined by competitive RT-PCR; the expression of both nrdHIE and nrdF was found to be dependent on the culture growth phase, and was induced in the presence of hydroxyurea, manganese and hydrogen peroxide. This is believed to be the first direct evidence for a manganese-dependent transcriptional regulation of nrd genes. These results suggest a common and coordinated regulation of the different nrd genes, despite their being transcribed from independent promoters.
Clostridium thermocellum produces one major β-1,3-glucanase. Genomic DNA fragments containing the gene were cloned from two strains, DSM1237T (6848 bp) and F7 (9766 bp). Overlapping sequences were 99·9 % identical. The nucleotide sequences contained reading frames for a putative transposase, endo-β-1,3-1,4-glucanase CelC, a putative transcription regulator of the LacI type, β-1,3-glucanase Lic16A and a putative membrane protein. The licA genes of both strains encoded an identical protein of 1324 aa with a calculated molecular mass of 148 kDa. Lic16A is an unusually complex protein consisting of a leader peptide, a threefold repeat of an S-layer homologous module (SLH), an unknown module, a catalytic module of glycosyl hydrolase family 16 and a fourfold repeat of a carbohydrate-binding module of family CBM4a. The recombinant Lic16A protein was characterized as an endo-1,3(4)-β-glucanase with a specific activity of 2680 and 340 U mg−1 and a K m of 0·94 and 2·1 mg ml−1 towards barley β-glucan and laminarin, respectively. It was specific for β-glucans containing β-1,3-linkages with an optimum temperature of 70 °C at pH 6·0. The N-terminal SLH modules were cleaved from the protein as well in Escherichia coli as in C. thermocellum, but nevertheless bound tightly to the rest of the protein. Lic16A was located on the cell surface from which it could be purified after fractionated solubilization. Its inducible production allowed C. thermocellum to grow on β-1,3- or β-1,3-1,4-glucan.
Twenty-five genes are involved in methanol oxidation to formaldehyde by the methanol dehydrogenase system in the facultative methylotroph Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 organized in five gene clusters. RT-PCR was used to assess the transcripts for the main gene clusters that encode methanol dehydrogenase and proteins required for its activity (mxaFGJIRSACKLDEHB), and the enzymes that are required for the synthesis of the methanol dehydrogenase prosthetic group, pyrroloquinoline quinone (pqqABC/DE and the pqqFG cluster). In both cases, positive bands were obtained corresponding to mRNA spanning each of the genes in the cluster, but not across the first and last genes and the gene immediately upstream or downstream of the cluster, respectively. These results suggest that these three gene clusters are each transcribed as a single operon. Confirmation was obtained by cloning a number of intergenic regions into a promoter probe vector. None of these regions showed significant promoter activity. Promoter regions were analysed for mxaF, pqqA, orf181 upstream of pqqFG, and mxaW, a gene located upstream of mxaF and divergently transcribed. The promoter regions for these genes were defined to within 100, 46, 124 and 146 bp, respectively, and the two unknown transcriptional start sites were determined, for mxaW and orf181. Alignment of these promoter regions suggests that they all may be transcribed by the σ 70 orthologue in M. extorquens AM1.