Tissue microarray (TMA) technology has been developed to facilitate large, genome-scale molecular pathology studies. This technique provides a high-throughput method for analyzing a large cohort of clinical specimens in a single experiment thereby permitting the parallel analysis of molecular alterations (at the DNA, RNA, or protein level) in thousands of tissue specimens. As a vast quantity of data can be generated in a single TMA experiment a systematic approach is required for the storage and analysis of such data.
To analyse TMA output a relational database (known as TmaDB) has been developed to collate all aspects of information relating to TMAs. These data include the TMA construction protocol, experimental protocol and results from the various immunocytological and histochemical staining experiments including the scanned images for each of the TMA cores. Furthermore the database contains pathological information associated with each of the specimens on the TMA slide, the location of the various TMAs and the individual specimen blocks (from which cores were taken) in the laboratory and their current status i.e. if they can be sectioned into further slides or if they are exhausted. TmaDB has been designed to incorporate and extend many of the published common data elements and the XML format for TMA experiments and is therefore compatible with the TMA data exchange specifications developed by the Association for Pathology Informatics community. Finally the design of the database is made flexible such that TMA experiments from several types of cancer can be stored in a single database, which incorporates the national minimum data set required for pathology reports supported by the Royal College of Pathologists (UK).
TmaDB will provide a comprehensive repository for TMA data such that a large number of results from the numerous immunostaining experiments can be efficiently compared for each of the TMA cores. This will allow a systematic, large-scale comparison of tumour samples to facilitate the identification of gene products of clinical importance such as therapeutic or prognostic markers. In addition this work will contribute to the establishment of a standard for reporting TMA data analogous to MIAME in the description of microarray data.
The lipids of Thermus aquaticus YT1, Thermus thermophilus HB8, Thermus sp. strains H and J (from Icelandic hot springs), and Thermus sp. strain NH (from domestic hot water) have been investigated. Each strain contained two major components, a glycolipid and a glycophospholipid, which have been isolated and analyzed. All of the strains contained as the principal component (41 to 57% of total lipid) a diacyldiglycosyl-(N-acyl)glycosaminylglucosylglycerol, but the five glycolipids differed in carbohydrate composition. The glycophospholipid appeared to be identical in each strain and contained an N-acylglucosamine residue. The principal fatty acids were C15 and C17 branched-chain compounds. This unique polar lipid composition should be of value in the classification of other thermophiles in the genus Thermus. The exceptionally high carbohydrate content of the lipids of these extreme thermophiles may be of significance in relation to the molecular basis of thermophily.
We have sequenced the genome and identified the structural proteins and lipids of the novel membrane-containing, icosahedral virus P23-77 of Thermus thermophilus. P23-77 has an ∼17-kb circular double-stranded DNA genome, which was annotated to contain 37 putative genes. Virions were subjected to dissociation analysis, and five protein species were shown to associate with the internal viral membrane, while three were constituents of the protein capsid. Analysis of the bacteriophage genome revealed it to be evolutionarily related to another Thermus phage (IN93), archaeal Halobacterium plasmid (pHH205), a genetic element integrated into Haloarcula genome (designated here as IHP for integrated Haloarcula provirus), and the Haloarcula virus SH1. These genetic elements share two major capsid proteins and a putative packaging ATPase. The ATPase is similar with the ATPases found in the PRD1-type viruses, thus providing an evolutionary link to these viruses and furthering our knowledge on the origin of viruses.
Many strains of Thermus have been isolated from hot environments around the world. Thermus scotoductus SA-01 was isolated from fissure water collected 3.2 km below surface in a South African gold mine. The isolate is capable of dissimilatory iron reduction, growth with oxygen and nitrate as terminal electron acceptors and the ability to reduce a variety of metal ions, including gold, chromate and uranium, was demonstrated. The genomes from two different Thermus thermophilus strains have been completed. This paper represents the completed genome from a second Thermus species - T. scotoductus.
The genome of Thermus scotoductus SA-01 consists of a chromosome of 2,346,803 bp and a small plasmid which, together are about 11% larger than the Thermus thermophilus genomes. The T. thermophilus megaplasmid genes are part of the T. scotoductus chromosome and extensive rearrangement, deletion of nonessential genes and acquisition of gene islands have occurred, leading to a loss of synteny between the chromosomes of T. scotoductus and T. thermophilus. At least nine large inserts of which seven were identified as alien, were found, the most remarkable being a denitrification cluster and two operons relating to the metabolism of phenolics which appear to have been acquired from Meiothermus ruber. The majority of acquired genes are from closely related species of the Deinococcus-Thermus group, and many of the remaining genes are from microorganisms with a thermophilic or hyperthermophilic lifestyle. The natural competence of Thermus scotoductus was confirmed experimentally as expected as most of the proteins of the natural transformation system of Thermus thermophilus are present. Analysis of the metabolic capabilities revealed an extensive energy metabolism with many aerobic and anaerobic respiratory options. An abundance of sensor histidine kinases, response regulators and transporters for a wide variety of compounds are indicative of an oligotrophic lifestyle.
The genome of Thermus scotoductus SA-01 shows remarkable plasticity with the loss, acquisition and rearrangement of large portions of its genome compared to Thermus thermophilus. Its ability to naturally take up foreign DNA has helped it adapt rapidly to a subsurface lifestyle in the presence of a dense and diverse population which acted as source of nutrients. The genome of Thermus scotoductus illustrates how rapid adaptation can be achieved by a highly dynamic and plastic genome.
Although many biological databases are applying semantic web technologies, meaningful biological hypothesis testing cannot be easily achieved. Database-driven high throughput genomic hypothesis testing requires both of the capabilities of obtaining semantically relevant experimental data and of performing relevant statistical testing for the retrieved data. Tissue Microarray (TMA) data are semantically rich and contains many biologically important hypotheses waiting for high throughput conclusions.
An application-specific ontology was developed for managing TMA and DNA microarray databases by semantic web technologies. Data were represented as Resource Description Framework (RDF) according to the framework of the ontology. Applications for hypothesis testing (Xperanto-RDF) for TMA data were designed and implemented by (1) formulating the syntactic and semantic structures of the hypotheses derived from TMA experiments, (2) formulating SPARQLs to reflect the semantic structures of the hypotheses, and (3) performing statistical test with the result sets returned by the SPARQLs.
When a user designs a hypothesis in Xperanto-RDF and submits it, the hypothesis can be tested against TMA experimental data stored in Xperanto-RDF. When we evaluated four previously validated hypotheses as an illustration, all the hypotheses were supported by Xperanto-RDF.
We demonstrated the utility of high throughput biological hypothesis testing. We believe that preliminary investigation before performing highly controlled experiment can be benefited.
We determined the sequence of the 152,372-bp genome of ϕYS40, a lytic tailed bacteriophage of Thermus thermophilus. The genome contains 170 putative open reading frames and three tRNA genes. Functions for 25% of ϕYS40 gene products were predicted on the basis of similarity to proteins of known function from diverse phages and bacteria. ϕYS40 encodes a cluster of proteins involved in nucleotide salvage, such as flavin-dependent thymidylate synthase, thymidylate kinase, ribonucleotide reductase, and deoxycytidylate deaminase, and in DNA replication, such as DNA primase, helicase, type A DNA polymerase, and predicted terminal protein involved in initiation of DNA synthesis. The structural genes of ϕYS40, most of which have no similarity to sequences in public databases, were identified by mass-spectrometric analysis of purified virions. Various ϕYS40 proteins have different phylogenetic neighbors, including Myovirus, Podovirus, and Siphovirus gene products, bacterial genes, and in one case, a dUTPase from a eukaryotic virus. ϕYS40 has apparently arisen through multiple acts of recombination between different phage genomes as well as through acquisition of bacterial genes.
Thermus thermophilus; bacteriophage; genome; virion; proteomics; bioinformatics; DNA polymerase
Reverse gyrase, an enzyme of uncertain funtion, is present in all
hyperthermophilic archaea and bacteria. Previous phylogenetic studies
have suggested that the gene for reverse gyrase has an archaeal origin
and was transferred laterally (LGT) to the ancestors of the two
bacterial hyperthermophilic phyla, Thermotogales and Aquificales.
Here, we performed an in-depth analysis of the evolutionary history of
reverse gyrase in light of genomic progress. We found genes coding for
reverse gyrase in the genomes of several thermophilic bacteria that
belong to phyla other than Aquificales and Thermotogales. Several of
these bacteria are not, strictly speaking, hyperthermophiles because
their reported optimal growth temperatures are below 80 °C.
Furthermore, we detected a reverse gyrase gene in the sequence of the
large plasmid of Thermus thermophilus strain HB8,
suggesting a possible mechanism of transfer to the T.
thermophilus strain HB8 involving plasmids and transposases.
The archaeal part of the reverse gyrase tree is congruent with recent
phylogenies of the archaeal domain based on ribosomal proteins or RNA
polymerase subunits. Although poorly resolved, the complete reverse
gyrase phylogeny suggests an ancient acquisition of the gene by
bacteria via one or two LGT events, followed by its secondary
distribution by LGT within bacteria. Finally, several genes of
archaeal origin located in proximity to the reverse gyrase gene in
bacterial genomes have bacterial homologues mostly in thermophiles or
hyperthermophiles, raising the possibility that they were
co-transferred with the reverse gyrase gene. Our new analysis of the
reverse gyrase history strengthens the hypothesis that the acquisition
of reverse gyrase may have been a crucial evolutionary step in the
adaptation of bacteria to high-temperature environments. However, it
also questions the role of this enzyme in thermophilic bacteria and
the selective advantage its presence could provide.
adaptation; Archaea; evolution; genome context; HGT; hyperthermophily; plasmid; thermophily; Thermus thermophilus
Thermus thermophilus and Deinococcus radiodurans belong to a distinct bacterial clade but have remarkably different phenotypes. T. thermophilus is a thermophile, which is relatively sensitive to ionizing radiation and desiccation, whereas D. radiodurans is a mesophile, which is highly radiation- and desiccation-resistant. Here we present an in-depth comparison of the genomes of these two related but differently adapted bacteria.
By reconstructing the evolution of Thermus and Deinococcus after the divergence from their common ancestor, we demonstrate a high level of post-divergence gene flux in both lineages. Various aspects of the adaptation to high temperature in Thermus can be attributed to horizontal gene transfer from archaea and thermophilic bacteria; many of the horizontally transferred genes are located on the single megaplasmid of Thermus. In addition, the Thermus lineage has lost a set of genes that are still present in Deinococcus and many other mesophilic bacteria but are not common among thermophiles. By contrast, Deinococcus seems to have acquired numerous genes related to stress response systems from various bacteria. A comparison of the distribution of orthologous genes among the four partitions of the Deinococcus genome and the two partitions of the Thermus genome reveals homology between the Thermus megaplasmid (pTT27) and Deinococcus megaplasmid (DR177).
After the radiation from their common ancestor, the Thermus and Deinococcus lineages have taken divergent paths toward their distinct lifestyles. In addition to extensive gene loss, Thermus seems to have acquired numerous genes from thermophiles, which likely was the decisive contribution to its thermophilic adaptation. By contrast, Deinococcus lost few genes but seems to have acquired many bacterial genes that apparently enhanced its ability to survive different kinds of environmental stresses. Notwithstanding the accumulation of horizontally transferred genes, we also show that the single megaplasmid of Thermus and the DR177 megaplasmid of Deinococcus are homologous and probably were inherited from the common ancestor of these bacteria.
The extreme thermophile Thermus thermophilus HB27 exhibits high frequencies of natural transformation. Although we recently reported identification of the first competence genes in Thermus, the molecular basis of DNA uptake is unknown. A pilus-like structure is assumed to be involved. Twelve genes encoding prepilin-like proteins were identified in three loci in the genome of T. thermophilus. Mutational analyses, described in this paper, revealed that one locus, which contains four genes that encode prepilin-like proteins (pilA1 to pilA4), is essential for natural transformation. Additionally, comZ, a new competence gene with no similarity to known genes, was identified. Analysis of the piliation phenotype revealed wild-type piliation of a pilA1-pilA3Δkat mutant and a comZ mutant, whereas a pilA4 mutant was found to be completely devoid of pilus structures. These findings, together with the significant similarity of PilA4 to prepilins, led to the conclusion that the T. thermophilus pilus structures are type IV pili. Furthermore, the loss of the transformation and piliation phenotype in the pilA4 mutant suggests that type IV pili are implicated in natural transformation of T. thermophilus HB27.
We found that both tetramethylammonium chloride (TMA-Cl) and tetra-ethylammonium chloride (TEA-Cl), which are used as monovalent cations for northern hybridization, drastically destabilized the tertiary structures of tRNAs and enhanced the formation of tRNA•oligoDNA hybrids. These effects are of great advantage for the hybridization-based method for purification of specific tRNAs from unfractionated tRNA mixtures through the use of an immobilized oligoDNA complementary to the target tRNA. Replacement of NaCl by TMA-Cl or TEA-Cl in the hybridization buffer greatly improved the recovery of a specific tRNA, even from unfractionated tRNAs derived from a thermophile. Since TEA-Cl destabilized tRNAs more strongly than TMA-Cl, it was necessary to lower the hybridization temperature at the sacrifice of the purity of the recovered tRNA when using TEA-Cl. Therefore, we propose two alternative protocols, depending on the desired properties of the tRNA to be purified. When the total recovery of the tRNA is important, hybridization should be carried out in the presence of TEA-Cl. However, if the purity of the recovered tRNA is important, TMA-Cl should be used for the hybridization. In principle, this procedure for tRNA purification should be applicable to any small-size RNA whose gene sequence is already known.
NAD+-dependent DNA ligases from thermophilic bacteria Thermus species are highly homologous with amino acid sequence identities ranging from 85 to 98%. Thermus species AK16D ligase, the most divergent of the seven Thermus isolates collected worldwide, was cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli and purified to homogeneity. This Thermus ligase is similar to Thermus thermophilus HB8 ligase with respect to pH, salt, NAD+, divalent cation profiles and steady-state kinetics.However, the former is more discriminative toward T/G mismatches at the 3'-side of the ligation junction, as judged by the ratios of initial ligation rates of matched and mismatched substrates. The two wild-type Thermus ligases and a Tth ligase mutant (K294R) demonstrate 1-2 orders of magnitude higher fidelity than viral T4 DNA ligase. Both Thermus ligases are active with either the metal cofactor Mg2+, Mn2+or Ca2+but not with Co2+, Ni2+, Cu2+or Zn2+. While the nick closure step with Ca2+becomes rate-limiting which results in the accumulation of DNA-adenylate intermediate, Ni2+only supports intermediate formation to a limited extent. Both Thermus ligases exhibit enhanced mismatch ligation when Mn2+is substituted for Mg2+, but the Tsp. AK16D ligase remains more specific toward perfectly matched substrate.
Regulation of gene expression of lytic bacteriophage φYS40 that infects thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus was investigated and three temporal classes of phage genes -- early, middle, and late -- were revealed. φYS40 does not encode a DNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RNAP) and must rely on host RNAP for transcription of its genes. Bioinformatic analysis using a model of Thermus promoters predicted 43 putative σA-dependent −10/-35 class phage promoters. A randomly chosen subset of those promoters was shown to be functional in vivo and in vitro and to belong to the early temporal class. Macroarray analysis, primer extension, and bioinformatic predictions identified 36 viral middle and late promoters. These promoters have a single common consensus element, which resembles host σA RNAP holoenzyme −10 promoter consensus element sequence. The mechanism responsible for the temporal control of the three classes of promoters remains unknown, since host σA RNAP holoenzyme-purified from either infected or uninfected cells efficiently transcribed all φYS40 promoters in vitro. Interestingly, our data showed that during infection, there is a significant increase and decrease, respectively, of transcript amounts of host translation initiation factors IF2 and IF3. This finding, together with the fact that most middle and late φYS40 transcripts were found to be leaderless, suggests that the shift to late viral gene expression may also occur at the level of mRNA translation.
Thermus thermophilus; bacteriophage; bioinformatic promoter search; macroarray analysis; gene expression; leaderless mRNA
Proteins belonging to the Omp85 family are involved in the assembly of β-barrel outer membrane proteins or in the translocation of proteins across the outer membrane in bacteria, mitochondria, and chloroplasts. The cell envelope of the thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus HB27 is multilayered, including an outer membrane that is not well characterized. Neither the precise lipid composition nor much about integral membrane proteins is known. The genome of HB27 encodes one Omp85-like protein, Omp85Tt, representing an ancestral type of this family. We overexpressed Omp85Tt in T. thermophilus and purified it from the native outer membranes. In the presence of detergent, purified Omp85Tt existed mainly as a monomer, composed of two stable protease-resistant modules. Circular dichroism spectroscopy indicated predominantly β-sheet secondary structure. Electron microscopy of negatively stained lipid-embedded Omp85Tt revealed ring-like structures with a central cavity of ∼1.5 nm in diameter. Single-channel conductance recordings indicated that Omp85Tt forms ion channels with two different conducting states, characterized by conductances of ∼0.4 nS and ∼0.65 nS, respectively.
In this study, we have isolated a temperate phage (ΦCD119) from a pathogenic Clostridium difficile strain and sequenced and annotated its genome. This virus has an icosahedral capsid and a contractile tail covered by a sheath and contains a double-stranded DNA genome. It belongs to the Myoviridae family of the tailed phages and the order Caudovirales. The genome was circularly permuted, with no physical ends detected by sequencing or restriction enzyme digestion analysis, and lacked a cos site. The DNA sequence of this phage consists of 53,325 bp, which carries 79 putative open reading frames (ORFs). A function could be assigned to 23 putative gene products, based upon bioinformatic analyses. The ΦCD119 genome is organized in a modular format, which includes modules for lysogeny, DNA replication, DNA packaging, structural proteins, and host cell lysis. The ΦCD119 attachment site attP lies in a noncoding region close to the putative integrase (int) gene. We have identified the phage integration site on the C. difficile chromosome (attB) located in a noncoding region just upstream of gene gltP, which encodes a carrier protein for glutamate and aspartate. This genetic analysis represents the first complete DNA sequence and annotation of a C. difficile phage.
Genetic transformation of auxotrophs of the extreme thermophile Thermus thermophilus HB27 to prototrophy was obtained at high frequencies of 10(-2) to 10(-1) when proliferating cell populations were exposed to chromosomal DNA from a nutritionally independent wild-type strain. The transformation frequency was proportional to the DNA concentration from 10 pg/ml to 100 ng/ml. T. thermophilus HB27 cells did not require chemical treatment to induce competence, although optimal transformation was obtained by the addition of a divalent cation (Ca2+ or Mg2+). Competence was maintained throughout the growth phase, with the highest transformation frequencies at pH 6 to 9 and at 70 degrees C. T. thermophilus HB27 and four other typical Thermus strains, T. thermophilus HB8, T. flavus AT62, T. caldophilus GK24, and T. aquaticus YT1, were also transformed to streptomycin resistance by DNA from their own spontaneous streptomycin-resistant mutants. A cryptic plasmid, pTT8, from T. thermophilus HB8 was introduced into T. thermophilus HB27 Pro- at a frequency of 10(-2).
The extremely radioresistant bacteria of the genus Deinococcus and the extremely thermophilic bacteria of the genus Thermus belong to a common taxonomic group. Considering the distinct living environments of Deinococcus and Thermus, different genes would have been acquired through horizontal gene transfer after their divergence from a common ancestor. Their guanine-cytosine (GC) contents are similar; however, we hypothesized that their genomic signatures would be different. Our findings indicated that the genomes of Deinococcus radiodurans and Thermus thermophilus have different tetranucleotide frequencies. This analysis showed that the genome signature of D. radiodurans is most similar to that of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, whereas the genome signature of T. thermophilus is most similar to that of Thermanaerovibrio acidaminovorans. This difference in genome signatures may be related to the different evolutionary backgrounds of the 2 genera after their divergence from a common ancestor.
An extremely thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus HB8, is one of the model organisms for systems biology. Its genome consists of a chromosome (1.85 Mb), a megaplasmid (0.26 Mb) designated pTT27, and a plasmid (9.3 kb) designated pTT8, and the complete sequence is available. We show here that T. thermophilus is a polyploid organism, harboring multiple genomic copies in a cell. In the case of the HB8 strain, the copy number of the chromosome was estimated to be four or five, and the copy number of the pTT27 megaplasmid seemed to be equal to that of the chromosome. It has never been discussed whether T. thermophilus is haploid or polyploid. However, the finding that it is polyploid is not surprising, as Deinococcus radiodurans, an extremely radioresistant bacterium closely related to Thermus, is well known to be a polyploid organism. As is the case for D. radiodurans in the radiation environment, the polyploidy of T. thermophilus might allow for genomic DNA protection, maintenance, and repair at elevated growth temperatures. Polyploidy often complicates the recognition of an essential gene in T. thermophilus as a model organism for systems biology.
The genomes of two closely related lytic Thermus thermophilus siphoviruses with exceptionally long (~800 nm) tails, bacteriophages P23-45 and P74-26, were completely sequenced. The P23-45 genome consists of 84,201 bp with 117 putative ORFs (Open Reading Frames), and the P74-26 genome has 83,319 bp and 116 putative ORFs. The two genomes are 92% identical with 113 ORFs shared. Only 25% of phage gene product functions can be predicted from similarities to proteins and protein domains with known functions. The structural genes of P23-45, most of which have no similarity to sequences from public databases, were identified by mass-spectrometric analysis of virions. An unusual feature of the P23-45 and P74-26 genomes is the presence, in their largest intergenic regions, of long polypurine-polypyrimidine (R-Y) sequences with mirror repeat symmetry. Such sequences, abundant in eukaryotic genomes but rare in prokaryotes, are known to form stable triple helices that block replication and transcription and induce genetic instability. Comparative analysis of the two phage genomes shows that the area around the triplex-forming elements is enriched in mutational variations. In vitro, phage R-Y sequences form triplexes and block DNA synthesis by Taq DNA polymerase in orientation-dependent manner, suggesting that they may play a regulatory role during P23-45 and P74-26 development.
Thermus thermophilus; thermophages; virion proteomics; bioinformatics; triplex-forming sequence
A DNA fragment encoding Ribonuclease H (EC 3. 1.26.4) was isolated from an extreme thermophilic bacterium, Thermus thermophilus HB8, by its ability to complement the temperature-sensitive growth of an Escherichia coli rnhA deficient mutant. The primary amino acid sequence showed 56% similarity to that of E. coli RNase HI but little or no homology to E. coli RNase HII. Enzymes derived from thermophilic organisms tend to have fewer cysteines than their bacterial counterparts. However, T. thermophilus RNase H has one more cysteine than its E. coli homologue. Stability of the RNase H in extracts of T. thermophilus to elevated temperatures was the same for the protein expressed in E. coli. T. thermophilus RNase H should, therefore, be a useful tool for editing RNA-DNA hybrid molecules at higher temperatures and may also be stable enough to be used in a cyclical process. It was suggested that regulation of expression of the RNase H may be different from that of E. coli. RNase HI.
The extremely thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilus HB8, which belongs to the phylum Deinococcus-Thermus, has an open reading frame encoding a protein belonging to the cyclic AMP (cAMP) receptor protein (CRP) family present in many bacteria. The protein named T. thermophilus CRP is highly homologous to the CRP family proteins from the phyla Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Cyanobacteria, and it forms a homodimer and interacts with cAMP. CRP mRNA and intracellular cAMP were detected in this strain, which did not drastically fluctuate during cultivation in a rich medium. The expression of several genes was altered upon disruption of the T. thermophilus CRP gene. We found six CRP-cAMP-dependent promoters in in vitro transcription assays involving DNA fragments containing the upstream regions of the genes exhibiting decreased expression in the CRP disruptant, indicating that the CRP is a transcriptional activator. The consensus T. thermophilus CRP-binding site predicted upon nucleotide sequence alignment is 5′-(C/T)NNG(G/T)(G/T)C(A/C)N(A/T)NNTCACAN(G/C)(G/C)-3′. This sequence is unique compared with the known consensus binding sequences of CRP family proteins. A putative −10 hexamer sequence resides at 18 to 19 bp downstream of the predicted T. thermophilus CRP-binding site. The CRP-regulated genes found in this study comprise clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat (CRISPR)-associated (cas) ones, and the genes of a putative transcriptional regulator, a protein containing the exonuclease III-like domain of DNA polymerase, a GCN5-related acetyltransferase homolog, and T. thermophilus-specific proteins of unknown function. These results suggest a role for cAMP signal transduction in T. thermophilus and imply the T. thermophilus CRP is a cAMP-responsive regulator.
Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a powerful method to produce linear DNA fragments. Here we describe the Tma thermostable DNA ligase-mediated PCR production of circular plasmid (PPCP) and its application in directed evolution via in situ error-prone PCR. In this thermostable DNA ligase-mediated whole-plasmid amplification method, the resultant DNA nick between the 5′ end of the PCR primer and the extended newly synthesized DNA 3′ end of each PCR cycle is ligated by Tma DNA ligase, resulting in circular plasmid DNA product that can be directly transformed. The template plasmid DNA is eliminated by ‘selection marker swapping’ upon transformation. When performed under an error-prone condition with Taq DNA polymerase, PPCP allows one-step construction of mutagenesis libraries based on in situ error-prone PCR so that random mutations are introduced into the target gene without altering the expression vector plasmid. A significant difference between PPCP and previously published methods is that PPCP allows exponential amplification of circular DNA. We used this method to create random mutagenesis libraries of a xylanase gene and two cellulase genes. Screening of these libraries resulted in mutant proteins with desired properties, demonstrating the usefulness of in situ error-prone PPCP for creating random mutagenesis libraries for directed evolution.
thermostable DNA ligase; directed evolution; amplification of circular plasmids; random mutagenesis libraries; error-prone PCR
Inactivation of Na channels has been studied in voltage-clamped, internally perfused squid giant axons during changes in the ionic composition of the intracellular solution. Peak Na currents are reduced when tetramethylammonium ions (TMA+) are substituted for Cs ions internally. The reduction reflects a rapid, voltage-dependent block of a site in the channel by TMA+. The estimated fractional electrical distance for the site is 10% of the channel length from the internal surface. Na tail currents are slowed by TMA+ and exhibit kinetics similar to those seen during certain drug treatments. Steady state INa is simultaneously increased by TMA+, resulting in a "cross-over" of current traces with those in Cs+ and in greatly diminished inactivation at positive membrane potentials. Despite the effect on steady state inactivation, the time constants for entry into and exit from the inactivated state are not significantly different in TMA+ and Cs+. Increasing intracellular Na also reduces steady state inactivation in a dose-dependent manner. Ratios of steady state INa to peak INa vary from approximately 0.14 in Cs+- or K+-perfused axons to approximately 0.4 in TMA+- or Na+-perfused axons. These results are consistent with a scheme in which TMA+ or Na+ can interact with a binding site near the inner channel surface that may also be a binding or coordinating site for a natural inactivation particle. A simple competition between the ions and an inactivation particle is, however, not sufficient to account for the increase in steady state INa, and changes in the inactivation process itself must accompany the interaction of TMA+ and Na+ with the channel.
In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in SSBs because they find numerous applications in diverse molecular biology and analytical methods.
We report the characterization of single-stranded DNA binding proteins (SSBs) from the thermophilic bacteria Thermotoga maritima (TmaSSB) and Thermotoga neapolitana (TneSSB). They are the smallest known bacterial SSB proteins, consisting of 141 and 142 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 16.30 and 16.58 kDa, respectively. The similarity between amino acid sequences of these proteins is very high: 90% identity and 95% similarity. Surprisingly, both TmaSSB and TneSSB possess a quite low sequence similarity to Escherichia coli SSB (36 and 35% identity, 55 and 56% similarity, respectively). They are functional as homotetramers containing one single-stranded DNA binding domain (OB-fold) in each monomer. Agarose mobility assays indicated that the ssDNA-binding site for both proteins is salt independent, and fluorescence spectroscopy resulted in a size of 68 ± 2 nucleotides. The half-lives of TmaSSB and TneSSB were 10 h and 12 h at 100°C, respectively. When analysed by differential scanning microcalorimetry (DSC) the melting temperature (Tm) was 109.3°C and 112.5°C for TmaSSB and TneSSB, respectively.
The results showed that TmaSSB and TneSSB are the most thermostable SSB proteins identified to date, offering an attractive alternative to TaqSSB and TthSSB in molecular biology applications, especially with using high temperature e. g. polymerase chain reaction (PCR).
The complete genomes of Thermus oshimai JL-2 and T. thermophilus JL-18 each consist of a circular chromosome, 2.07 Mb and 1.9 Mb, respectively, and two plasmids ranging from 0.27 Mb to 57.2 kb. Comparison of the T. thermophilus JL-18 chromosome with those from other strains of T. thermophilus revealed a high degree of synteny, whereas the megaplasmids from the same strains were highly plastic. The T. oshimai JL-2 chromosome and megaplasmids shared little or no synteny with other sequenced Thermus strains. Phylogenomic analyses using a concatenated set of conserved proteins confirmed the phylogenetic and taxonomic assignments based on 16S rRNA phylogenetics. Both chromosomes encode a complete glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, and pentose phosphate pathway plus glucosidases, glycosidases, proteases, and peptidases, highlighting highly versatile heterotrophic capabilities. Megaplasmids of both strains contained a gene cluster encoding enzymes predicted to catalyze the sequential reduction of nitrate to nitrous oxide; however, the nitrous oxide reductase required for the terminal step in denitrification was absent, consistent with their incomplete denitrification phenotypes. A sox gene cluster was identified in both chromosomes, suggesting a mode of chemolithotrophy. In addition, nrf and psr gene clusters in T. oshmai JL-2 suggest respiratory nitrite ammonification and polysulfide reduction as possible modes of anaerobic respiration.
Thermus; Thermus oshimai; Thermus thermophilus; thermophiles; hot springs; denitrification; nitrous oxide; Great Basin
The ruvB genes of the highly divergent thermophilic eubacteria Thermus thermophilus and Thermotoga maritima were cloned, sequenced, and expressed in Escherichia coli. Both thermostable RuvB proteins were purified to homogeneity. Like E. coli RuvB protein, both purified thermostable RuvB proteins showed strong double-stranded DNA-dependent ATPase activity at their temperature optima (> or = 70 degrees C). In the absence of ATP, T. thermophilus RuvB protein bound to linear double-stranded DNA with a preference for the ends. Addition of ATP or gamma-S-ATP destabilized the T. thermophilus RuvB-DNA complexes. Both thermostable RuvB proteins displayed helicase activity on supercoiled DNA. Expression of thermostable T. thermophilus RuvB protein in the E. coli ruvB recG mutant strain N3395 partially complemented the UV-sensitive phenotype, suggesting that T. thermophilus RuvB protein has a function similar to that of E. coli RuvB in vivo.