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.
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
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.
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.
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.
A bacteriophage (phiYS40) infectious to an extreme thermophile, Thermus thermophilus HB8, was isolated and characterized. phiYS40 grows over the temperature range of 56 to 78 C, and the optimum growth temperature is about 65 C. The phage had a latent period of 80 min and a burst size of about 80 at 65 C. The phage has a hexagonal head 0.125 mum in diameter, a tail 0.178 mum long and 0.027 mum wide, a base plate and tail fibers. The phage is thermostable in broth but rather unstable in a buffer containing 10 mM Tris, 10 mM MgCl2, pH 7.5. The addition of Casamino Acids (1 percent), polypeptone (0.8 percent), yeast extract (0.4 percent), NaCl (0.1 M) or spermidine (1 mM) to the buffer restores the thermostability of phiYS40 to the same degree as in broth. The phage is also thermostable in water of the hot spring from which this phage was isolated. The nucleic acid of PhiYS40 is a double-stranded DNA and has a molecular weight of 1.36 X 10-8. The guanine plus cytosine content of the DNA was determined to be about 35 percent from chemical determinations, buoyant density (1.693 g/cm-3 in CsCl), and melting temperature (83.5 C in 0.15 M NaCl plus 0.015 M sodium citrate).
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.
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.
Among dsDNA tailed bacteriophages (Caudovirales), members of the Myoviridae family have the most sophisticated virion design that includes a complex contractile tail structure. The Myoviridae generally have larger genomes than the other phage families. Relatively few “dwarf” myoviruses, those with a genome size of less than 50 kb such as those of the Mu group, have been analyzed in extenso. Here we report on the genome sequencing and morphological characterization of a new group of such phages that infect a diverse range of Proteobacteria, namely Aeromonas salmonicida phage 56, Vibrio cholerae phages 138 and CP-T1, Bdellovibrio phage φ1422, and Pectobacterium carotovorum phage ZF40. This group of dwarf myoviruses shares an identical virion morphology, characterized by usually short contractile tails, and have genome sizes of approximately 45 kb. Although their genome sequences are variable in their lysogeny, replication, and host adaption modules, presumably reflecting differing lifestyles and hosts, their structural and morphogenesis modules have been evolutionarily constrained by their virion morphology. Comparative genomic analysis reveals that these phages, along with related prophage genomes, form a new coherent group within the Myoviridae. The results presented in this communication support the hypothesis that the diversity of phages may be more structured than generally believed and that the innumerable phages in the biosphere all belong to discrete lineages or families.
Bacillus cereus is responsible for an increasing number of food poisoning cases. By using 12 bacteriophages isolated from sewage, a typing scheme for B. cereus isolates from outbreaks or sporadic cases of food poisoning was developed. The phages belonged to three morphotypes. Ten phages with contractile tails and icosahedral heads were members of the Myoviridae family, and two phages with noncontractile tails belonged to the Siphoviridae family. Phage 11 represented a new species. It had an isometric head and a very long contractile tail with long wavy tail fibers and was one of the largest viruses known. The vast majority of 166 B. cereus strains (161, or 97%) isolated from food poisoning cases were typeable. Of 146 strains isolated from 18 outbreaks, 142 (97%) could be divided into 17 phage types. A good correlation, on the order of 80 to 100%, between phage types of strains isolated from suspected foods and those of strains isolated from stools of symptomatic patients was observed. Most Bacillus thuringiensis strains were also typeable, providing further evidence of the close relatedness of B. cereus and B. thuringiensis. This phage typing scheme can be a valuable epidemiological tool in tracing the origins of food poisoning caused by B. cereus.
Mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate synthase (MpgS) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of MG. Here, the purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic characterization of apo MpgS from Thermus thermophilus HB27 are reported.
Mannosylglycerate (MG) is a compatible solute that is widespread in marine organisms that are adapted to hot environments, with its intracellular pool generally increasing in response to osmotic stress. These observations suggest that MG plays a relevant role in osmoadaptation and thermoadaptation. The pathways for the synthesis of MG have been characterized in a number of thermophilic and hyperthermophilic organisms. Mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate synthase (MpgS) is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of MG. Here, the purification, crystallization and preliminary crystallographic characterization of apo MpgS from Thermus thermophilus HB27 are reported. The addition of Zn2+ to the crystallization buffer was essential in order to obtain crystals. The crystals belonged to one of the enantiomorphic tetragonal space groups P41212 or P43212, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 113, c = 197 Å. Diffraction data were obtained to a resolution of 2.97 Å.
mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate synthase; Thermus thermophilus HB27
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.
Streptococcus thermophilus represents the only species among the streptococci that has “Generally Regarded As Safe” status and that plays an economically important role in the fermentation of yogurt and cheeses. We conducted comparative genome analysis of S. thermophilus LMD-9 to identify unique gene features as well as features that contribute to its adaptation to the dairy environment. In addition, we investigated the transcriptome response of LMD-9 during growth in milk in the presence of Lactobacillus delbrueckii ssp. bulgaricus, a companion culture in yogurt fermentation, and during lytic bacteriophage infection.
The S. thermophilus LMD-9 genome is comprised of a 1.8 Mbp circular chromosome (39.1% GC; 1,834 predicted open reading frames) and two small cryptic plasmids. Genome comparison with the previously sequenced LMG 18311 and CNRZ1066 strains revealed 114 kb of LMD-9 specific chromosomal region, including genes that encode for histidine biosynthetic pathway, a cell surface proteinase, various host defense mechanisms and a phage remnant. Interestingly, also unique to LMD-9 are genes encoding for a putative mucus-binding protein, a peptide transporter, and exopolysaccharide biosynthetic proteins that have close orthologs in human intestinal microorganisms. LMD-9 harbors a large number of pseudogenes (13% of ORFeome), indicating that like LMG 18311 and CNRZ1066, LMD-9 has also undergone major reductive evolution, with the loss of carbohydrate metabolic genes and virulence genes found in their streptococcal counterparts. Functional genome distribution analysis of ORFeomes among streptococci showed that all three S. thermophilus strains formed a distinct functional cluster, further establishing their specialized adaptation to the nutrient-rich milk niche. An upregulation of CRISPR1 expression in LMD-9 during lytic bacteriophage DT1 infection suggests its protective role against phage invasion. When co-cultured with L. bulgaricus, LMD-9 overexpressed genes involved in amino acid transport and metabolism as well as DNA replication.
The genome of S. thermophilus LMD-9 is shaped by its domestication in the dairy environment, with gene features that conferred rapid growth in milk, stress response mechanisms and host defense systems that are relevant to its industrial applications. The presence of a unique exopolysaccharide gene cluster and cell surface protein orthologs commonly associated with probiotic functionality revealed potential probiotic applications of LMD-9.
We succeeded in further improvement of the stability of 3-isopropylmalate dehydrogenase (IPMDH) from an extreme thermophile, Thermus thermophilus, by a suppressor mutation method. We previously constructed a chimeric IPMDH consisting of portions of thermophile and mesophile enzymes. The chimeric enzyme is less thermostable than the thermophile enzyme. The gene encoding the chimeric enzyme was subjected to random mutagenesis and integrated into the genome of a leuB-deficient mutant of T. thermophilus. The transformants were screened at 76 degrees C in minimum medium, and three independent stabilized mutants were obtained. The leuB genes from these three mutants were cloned and analyzed. The sequence analyses revealed Ala-172-->Val substitution in all of the mutants. The thermal stability of the thermophile IPMDH was improved by introducing the amino acid substitution.
Thermus thermophilus HB27, an extremely thermophilic bacterium, exhibits high competence for natural transformation. To identify genes of the natural transformation machinery of T. thermophilus HB27, we performed homology searches in the partially completed T. thermophilus genomic sequence for conserved competence genes. These analyses resulted in the detection of 28 open reading frames (ORFs) exhibiting significant similarities to known competence proteins of gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria. Disruption of 15 selected potential competence genes led to the identification of 8 noncompetent mutants and one transformation-deficient mutant with a 100-fold reduced transformation frequency. One competence protein is similar to DprA of Haemophilus influenzae, seven are similar to type IV pilus proteins of Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Neisseria gonorrhoeae (PilM, PilN, PilO, PilQ, PilF, PilC, PilD), and another deduced protein (PilW) is similar to a protein of unknown function in Deinococcus radiodurans R1. Analysis of the piliation phenotype of T. thermophilus HB27 revealed the presence of single pilus structures on the surface of the wild-type cells, whereas the noncompetent pil mutants of Thermus, with the exception of the pilF mutant, were devoid of pilus structures. These results suggest that pili and natural transformation in T. thermophilus HB27 are functionally linked.
Phenylacetic acid (PAA) is a common intermediate in the catabolic pathways of several structurally related aromatic compounds. It is converted into phenylacetyl coenzyme A (PA-CoA), which is degraded to general metabolites by a set of enzymes. Within the genome of the extremely thermophilic bacterium Thermus thermophilusHB8, a cluster of genes, including a TetR family transcriptional regulator, may be involved in PAA degradation. The gene product, which we named T. thermophilusPaaR, negatively regulated the expression of the two operons composing the gene cluster in vitro. T. thermophilusPaaR repressed the target gene expression by binding pseudopalindromic sequences, with a consensus sequence of 5′-CNAACGNNCGTTNG-3′, surrounding the promoters. PA-CoA is a ligand of PaaR, with a proposed binding stoichiometry of 1:1 protein monomer, and was effective for transcriptional derepression. Thus, PaaR is a functional homolog of PaaX, a GntR transcriptional repressor found in Escherichia coliand Pseudomonasstrains. A three-dimensional structure of T. thermophilusPaaR was predicted by homology modeling. In the putative structure, PaaR adopts the typical three-dimensional structure of the TetR family proteins, with 10 α-helices. A positively charged surface at the center of the molecule is similar to the acyl-CoA-binding site of another TetR family transcriptional regulator, T. thermophilusFadR, which is involved in fatty acid degradation. The CoA moiety of PA-CoA may bind to the center of the PaaR molecule, in a manner similar to the binding of the CoA moiety of acyl-CoA to FadR.
The xylose isomerase gene from the thermophile Thermus thermophilus was cloned by using a fragment of the Streptomyces griseofuscus gene as a probe. The complete nucleotide sequence of the gene was determined. T. thermophilus is the most thermophilic organism from which a xylose isomerase gene has been cloned and characterized. The gene codes for a polypeptide of 387 amino acids with a molecular weight of 44,000. The Thermus xylose isomerase is considerably more thermostable than other described xylose isomerases. Production of the enzyme in Escherichia coli, by using the tac promoter, increases the xylose isomerase yield 45-fold compared with production in T. thermophilus. Moreover, the enzyme from E. coli can be purified 20-fold by simply heating the cell extract at 85 degrees C for 10 min. The characteristics of the enzyme made in E. coli are the same as those of enzyme made in T. thermophilus. Comparison of the Thermus xylose isomerase amino acid sequence with xylose isomerase sequences from other organisms showed that amino acids involved in substrate binding and isomerization are well conserved. Analysis of amino acid substitutions that distinguish the Thermus xylose isomerase from other thermostable xylose isomerases suggests that the further increase in thermostability in T. thermophilus is due to substitution of amino acids which react during irreversible inactivation and results also from increased hydrophobicity.
Thermus sp. strain CCB_US3_UF1, a thermophilic bacterium, has been isolated from a hot spring in Malaysia. Here, we present the complete genome sequence of Thermus sp. CCB_US3_UF1.
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.