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1.  Ectopic Overexpression of The Transcription Factor OsGLK1 Induces Chloroplast Development in Non-Green Rice Cells 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2009;50(11):1933-1949.
For systematic and genome-wide analyses of rice gene functions, we took advantage of the full-length cDNA overexpresser (FOX) gene-hunting system and generated >12 000 independent FOX-rice lines from >25 000 rice calli treated with the rice-FOX Agrobacterium library. We found two FOX-rice lines generating green calli on a callus-inducing medium containing 2,4-D, on which wild-type rice calli became ivory yellow. In both lines, OsGLK1 cDNA encoding a GARP transcription factor was ectopically overexpressed. Using rice expression-microarray and northern blot analyses, we found that a large number of nucleus-encoded genes involved in chloroplast functions were highly expressed and transcripts of plastid-encoded genes, psaA, psbA and rbcL, increased in the OsGLK1-FOX calli. Transmission electron microscopy showed the existence of differentiated chloroplasts with grana stacks in OsGLK1-FOX calli cells. However, in darkness, OsGLK1-FOX calli did not show a green color or develop grana stacks. Furthermore, we found developed chloroplasts in vascular bundle and bundle sheath cells of coleoptiles and leaves from OsGLK1-FOX seedlings. The OsGLK1-FOX calli exhibited high photosynthetic activity and were able to grow on sucrose-depleted media, indicating that developed chloroplasts in OsGLK1-FOX rice calli are functional and active. We also observed that the endogenous OsGLK1 mRNA level increased synchronously with the greening of wild-type calli after transfer to plantlet regeneration medium. These results strongly suggest that OsGLK1 regulates chloroplast development under the control of light and phytohormones, and that it is a key regulator of chloroplast development.
doi:10.1093/pcp/pcp138
PMCID: PMC2775961  PMID: 19808806
Chloroplast development • FOX hunting system • GARP transcription factor • OsGLK1 • Oryza sativa • Rice
2.  Mutation at autosomal loci of Chinese hamster ovary cells: involvement of a high-frequency event silencing two linked alleles. 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1983;3(7):1172-1181.
Two classes of cell lines heterozygous at the galactokinase (glk) locus have been isolated from Chinese hamster ovary cells. Class I, selected by plating nonmutagenized wild-type cells at low density in medium containing 2-deoxygalactose at a partially selective concentration, underwent subsequent mutation to the glk-/- genotype at a low frequency (approximately 10(-6) per cell), which was increased by mutagenesis. Class II heterozygotes, isolated by sib selection from mutagenized wild-type cells, had a higher spontaneous frequency of mutation to the homozygous state (approximately 10(-4) per cell), which was not affected by mutagenesis. About half of the glk-/- mutants derived from a class II heterozygote, but not the heterozygote itself, were functionally hemizygous at the syntenic thymidine kinase (tk) locus. Similarly, a tk+/- heterozygote with characteristics analogous to the class II glk+/- cell lines underwent high-frequency mutation to tk-/-, and most of these mutants, but not the tk+/- heterozygote, were functionally hemizygous at the glk locus. A model is proposed, similar to that for the mutational events at the adenine phosphoribosyl transferase locus (W. E. C. Bradley and D. Letovanec, Somatic Cell Genet. 8:51-66, 1982), of two different events, high and low frequency, being responsible for mutation at either of the linked loci tk and glk. The low-frequency event may be a point mutation, but the high-frequency event, in many instances, involves coordinated inactivation of a portion of a chromosome carrying the two linked alleles. Class II heterozygotes would be generated as a result of a low-frequency event at one allele, and class I heterozygotes would be generated by a high-frequency event. Supporting this model was the demonstration that all class I glk+/- lines examined were functionally hemizygous at tk.
PMCID: PMC370107  PMID: 6193413
3.  Evolution of GOLDEN2-LIKE gene function in C3 and C4 plants 
Planta  2012;237(2):481-495.
A pair of GOLDEN2-LIKE transcription factors is required for normal chloroplast development in land plant species that encompass the range from bryophytes to angiosperms. In the C4 plant maize, compartmentalized function of the two GLK genes in bundle sheath and mesophyll cells regulates dimorphic chloroplast differentiation, whereas in the C3 plants Physcomitrella patens and Arabidopsis thaliana the genes act redundantly in all photosynthetic cells. To assess whether the cell-specific function of GLK genes is unique to maize, we analyzed gene expression patterns in the C4 monocot Sorghum bicolor and C4 eudicot Cleome gynandra. Compartmentalized expression was observed in S. bicolor, consistent with the development of dimorphic chloroplasts in this species, but not in C. gynandra where bundle sheath and mesophyll chloroplasts are morphologically similar. The generation of single and double mutants demonstrated that GLK genes function redundantly in rice, as in other C3 plants, despite the fact that GLK gene duplication in monocots preceded the speciation of rice, maize and sorghum. Together with phylogenetic analyses of GLK gene sequences, these data have allowed speculation on the evolutionary trajectory of GLK function. Based on current evidence, most species that retain single GLK genes belong to orders that contain only C3 species. We therefore propose that the ancestral state is a single GLK gene, and hypothesize that GLK gene duplication enabled sub-functionalization, which in turn enabled cell-specific function in C4 plants with dimorphic chloroplasts. In this scenario, GLK gene duplication preconditioned the evolution of C4 physiology that is associated with chloroplast dimorphism.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00425-012-1754-3) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00425-012-1754-3
PMCID: PMC3555242  PMID: 22968911
Bundle sheath; Chloroplast; Cleome; Mesophyll; Rice; Sorghum
4.  Contribution of glucose kinase to glucose repression of xylose utilization in Bacillus megaterium. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1997;179(23):7603-7605.
The glk gene from Bacillus megaterium, which encodes glucose kinase, was isolated and analyzed. Disruption by a transcriptional glk-luxAB fusion indicated that glk is the only glucose kinase gene in that strain but did not affect growth of that mutant on glucose. Determination of luciferase activity under various growth conditions revealed constitutive transcription of glk. Expression of a xylA-lacZ fusion was repressed by glucose in the strain with the glk disruption about twofold less efficiently than in the wild type. The potential contribution of glk expression to glucose repression is discussed.
PMCID: PMC179718  PMID: 9393732
5.  Thermal Stability of Glucokinases in Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis 
BioMed Research International  2013;2013:646539.
In the genome of Thermoanaerobacter tengcongensis, three genes belonging to ROK (Repressor, ORF, and Kinase) family are annotated as glucokinases (GLKs). Using enzyme assays, the three GLKs were identified as ATP-dependent GLK (ATP-GLK), ADP-dependent GLK (ADP-GLK), and N-acetyl-glucosamine/mannosamine kinase (glu/man-NacK). The kinetic properties of the three GLKs such as Km, Vmax, optimal pH, and temperature were characterized, demonstrating that these enzymes performed the specific functions against varied substrates and under different temperatures. The abundance of ATP-GLK was attenuated when culture temperature was elevated and was almost undetectable at 80°C, whereas the ADP-GLK abundance was insensitive to temperature changes. Using degradation assays, ATP-GLK was found to have significantly faster degradation than ADP-GLK at 80°C. Co-immunoprecipitation results revealed that heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) could interact with ATP-GLK and ADP-GLK at 60 and 75°C, whereas at 80°C, the interaction was only effectively with ADP-GLK but not ATP-GLK. The functions of GLKs in T. tengcongensis are temperature dependent, likely regulated through interactions with HSP60.
doi:10.1155/2013/646539
PMCID: PMC3766608  PMID: 24058911
6.  Molecular characterization of glucokinase from Escherichia coli K-12. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1997;179(4):1298-1306.
glk, the structural gene for glucokinase of Escherichia coli, was cloned and sequenced. Overexpression of glk resulted in the synthesis of a cytoplasmic protein with a molecular weight of 35,000. The enzyme was purified, and its kinetic parameters were determined. Its Km values for glucose and ATP were 0.78 and 3.76 mM, respectively. Its Vmax was 158 U/mg of protein. A chromosomal glk-lacZ fusion was constructed and used to monitor glk expression. Under all conditions tested, only growth on glucose reduced the expression of glk by about 50%. A fruR mutation slightly increased the expression of glk-lacZ, whereas the overexpression of plasmid-encoded fruR+ weakly decreased expression. A FruR consensus binding motif was found 123 bp upstream of the potential transcriptional start site of glk. Overexpression of glk interfered with the expression of the maltose system. Repression was strongest in strains that exhibited constitutive mal gene expression due to endogenous induction and, in the absence of a functional MalK protein, the ATP-hydrolyzing subunit of the maltose transport system. It was least effective in wild-type strains growing on maltose or in strains constitutive for the maltose system due to a mutation in malT rendering the mal gene expression independent of inducer. This demonstrates that free internal glucose plays an essential role in the formation of the endogenous inducer of the maltose system.
PMCID: PMC178829  PMID: 9023215
7.  Glucose kinase-dependent catabolite repression in Staphylococcus xylosus. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1995;177(21):6144-6152.
By transposon Tn917 mutagenesis, 16 mutants of Staphylococcus xylosus were isolated that showed higher levels of beta-galactosidase activity in the presence of glucose than the wild-type strain. The transposons were found to reside in three adjacent locations in the genome of S. xylosus. The nucleotide sequence of the chromosomal fragment affected by the Tn917 insertions yielded an open reading frame encoding a protein with a size of 328 amino acids with a high level of similarity to glucose kinase from Streptomyces coelicolor. Weaker similarity was also found to bacterial fructokinases and xylose repressors of gram-positive bacteria. The gene was designated glkA. Immediately downstream of glkA, two open reading frames were present whose deduced gene products showed no obvious similarity to known proteins. Measurements of catabolic enzyme activities in the mutant strains grown in the presence or absence of sugars established the pleiotropic nature of the mutations. Besides beta-galactosidase activity, which had been used to detect the mutants, six other tested enzymes were partially relieved from repression by glucose. Reduction of fructose-mediated catabolite repression was observed for some of the enzyme activities. Glucose transport and ATP-dependent phosphorylation of HPr, the phosphocarrier of the phosphoenolpyruvate:carbohydrate phosphotransferase system involved in catabolite repression in gram-positive bacteria, were not affected. The cloned glkA gene fully restored catabolite repression in the mutant strains in trans. Loss of GlkA function is thus responsible for the partial relief from catabolite repression. Glucose kinase activity in the mutants reached about 75% of the wild-type level, indicating the presence of another enzyme in S. xylosus. However, the cloned gene complemented an Escherichia coli strain in glucose kinase. Therefore, the glkA gene encodes a glucose kinase that participates in catabolite repression in S. xylosus.
PMCID: PMC177454  PMID: 7592379
8.  Photosynthesis of Root Chloroplasts Developed in Arabidopsis Lines Overexpressing GOLDEN2-LIKE Transcription Factors 
Plant and Cell Physiology  2013;54(8):1365-1377.
In plants, genes involved in photosynthesis are encoded separately in nuclei and plastids, and tight cooperation between these two genomes is therefore required for the development of functional chloroplasts. Golden2-like (GLK) transcription factors are involved in chloroplast development, directly targeting photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes for up-regulation. Although overexpression of GLKs leads to chloroplast development in non-photosynthetic organs, the mechanisms of coordination between the nuclear gene expression influenced by GLKs and the photosynthetic processes inside chloroplasts are largely unknown. To elucidate the impact of GLK-induced expression of photosynthesis-associated nuclear genes on the construction of photosynthetic systems, chloroplast morphology and photosynthetic characteristics in greenish roots of Arabidopsis thaliana lines overexpressing GLKs were compared with those in wild-type roots and leaves. Overexpression of GLKs caused up-regulation of not only their direct targets but also non-target nuclear and plastid genes, leading to global induction of chloroplast biogenesis in the root. Large antennae relative to reaction centers were observed in wild-type roots and were further enhanced by GLK overexpression due to the increased expression of target genes associated with peripheral light-harvesting antennae. Photochemical efficiency was lower in the root chloroplasts than in leaf chloroplasts, suggesting that the imbalance in the photosynthetic machinery decreases the efficiency of light utilization in root chloroplasts. Despite the low photochemical efficiency, root photosynthesis contributed to carbon assimilation in Arabidopsis. Moreover, GLK overexpression increased CO2 fixation and promoted phototrophic performance of the root, showing the potential of root photosynthesis to improve effective carbon utilization in plants.
doi:10.1093/pcp/pct086
PMCID: PMC3730084  PMID: 23749810
Arabidopsis root; Chloroplast development; Construction of photosynthetic systems; GLK; Photosynthesis
9.  PKC-theta-mediated signal delivery from the TCR/CD28 surface receptors 
Protein kinase C-theta (PKCθ) is a key enzyme in T lymphocytes, where it plays an important role in signal transduction downstream of the activated T cell antigen receptor (TCR) and the CD28 costimulatory receptor. Interest in PKCθ as a potential drug target has increased following recent findings that PKCθ is essential for harmful inflammatory responses mediated by Th2 (allergies) and Th17 (autoimmunity) cells as well as for graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) and allograft rejection, but is dispensable for beneficial responses such as antiviral immunity and graft-versus-leukemia (GvL) response. TCR/CD28 engagement triggers the translocation of the cytosolic PKCθ to the plasma membrane (PM), where it localizes at the center of the immunological synapse (IS), which forms at the contact site between an antigen-specific T cell and antigen-presenting cells (APC). However, the molecular basis for this unique localization, and whether it is required for its proper function have remained unresolved issues until recently. Our recent study resolved these questions by demonstrating that the unique V3 (hinge) domain of PKCθ and, more specifically, a proline-rich motif within this domain, is essential and sufficient for its localization at the IS, where it is anchored to the cytoplasmic tail of CD28 via an indirect mechanism involving Lck protein tyrosine kinase (PTK) as an intermediate. Importantly, the association of PKCθ with CD28 is essential not only for IS localization, but also for PKCθ-mediated activation of downstream signaling pathways, including the transcription factors NF-κB and NF-AT, which are essential for productive T cell activation. Hence, interference with formation of the PKCθ-Lck-CD28 complex provides a promising basis for the design of novel, clinically useful allosteric PKCθ inhibitors. An additional recent study demonstrated that TCR triggering activates the germinal center kinase (GSK)-like kinase (GLK) and induces its association with the SLP-76 adaptor at the IS, where GLK phosphorylates the activation loop of PKCθ, converting it into an active enzyme. This recent progress, coupled with the need to study the biology of PKCθ in human T cells, is likely to facilitate the development of PKCθ-based therapeutic modalities for T cell-mediated diseases.
doi:10.3389/fimmu.2012.00273
PMCID: PMC3425079  PMID: 22936936
protein kinase C-theta; PKCθ; CD28; Lck; signal transduction; costimulation
10.  Cloning of the glucokinase gene in Escherichia coli B. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1983;156(2):922-925.
A gene for glucokinase (Glk) in Escherichia coli B was cloned onto vector plasmid pBR322, and the hybrid plasmid obtained was designated pGK100. The gene for Glk was located in the central MluI fragment (0.82 megadalton) of the 6.0-megadalton chromosomal DNA inserted in the HindIII site of the vector. The introduction of pGK100 into E. coli 112L having a decreased level of Glk activity resulted in the about 15-fold increase in this enzyme activity. The poor growth rate of 112L cells on glucose or mannose was also improved by the introduction of pGK100. However, removal of some portion near the glk gene prevented the growth of 112L cells, although Glk activity was high enough to support growth. Therefore, some function of Glk may be regulated by a gene(s) near the glk gene.
Images
PMCID: PMC217917  PMID: 6313627
11.  The Zymomonas mobilis glf, zwf, edd, and glk genes form an operon: localization of the promoter and identification of a conserved sequence in the regulatory region. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(9):2816-2823.
The Zymomonas mobilis genes that encode the glucose-facilitated diffusion transporter (glf), glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (zwf), 6-phosphogluconate dehydratase (edd), and glucokinase (glk) are clustered on the genome. The data presented here firmly establish that the glf, zwf, edd, and glk genes form an operon, in that order. The four genes of the operon are cotranscribed on a 6.14-kb mRNA. The site of transcriptional initiation for the polycistronic message was mapped by primer extension and nuclease S1 protection analysis. The glf operon promoter region showed significant homology to other highly expressed Z. mobilis promoters, but not to consensus promoters from other bacteria. The highly expressed Z. mobilis promoter set contains two independent, overlapping, conserved sequences that extend from approximately bp -100 to +15 with respect to the transcriptional start sites. Expression of the glf operon was shown to be subject to carbon source-dependent regulation. The mRNA level was threefold higher in cells grown on fructose than in cells grown on glucose. This increase was not the result of differential mRNA processing when cells were grown on the different carbon sources, nor was it the result of differential transcript stability. Degradation of the 6.14-kb glf operon mRNA was biphasic, with initial half-lives of 11.5 min in fructose-grown cells and 12.0 min in glucose-grown cells. Thus, the higher level of glf operon mRNA in fructose-grown cells is the result of an increased rate of transcription. The importance of increasing glf expression in cells growing on fructose is discussed.
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PMCID: PMC205932  PMID: 1569013
12.  Extension of the Substrate Utilization Range of Ralstonia eutropha Strain H16 by Metabolic Engineering To Include Mannose and Glucose ▿  
The Gram-negative facultative chemolithoautotrophic bacterium Ralstonia eutropha strain H16 is known for its narrow carbohydrate utilization range, which limits its use for biotechnological production of polyhydroxyalkanoates and possibly other products from renewable resources. To broaden its substrate utilization range, which is for carbohydrates and related compounds limited to fructose, N-acetylglucosamine, and gluconate, strain H16 was engineered to use mannose and glucose as sole carbon sources for growth. The genes for a facilitated diffusion protein (glf) from Zymomonas mobilis and for a glucokinase (glk), mannofructokinase (mak), and phosphomannose isomerase (pmi) from Escherichia coli were alone or in combination constitutively expressed in R. eutropha strain H16 under the control of the neokanamycin or lac promoter, respectively, using an episomal broad-host-range vector. Recombinant strains harboring pBBR1MCS-3::glf::mak::pmi or pBBR1MCS-3::glf::pmi grew on mannose, whereas pBBR1MCS-3::glf::mak and pBBR1MCS-3::glf did not confer the ability to utilize mannose as a carbon source to R. eutropha. The recombinant strain harboring pBBR1MCS-3::glf::pmi exhibited slower growth on mannose than the recombinant strain harboring pBBR1MCS-3::glf::mak::pmi. These data indicated that phosphomannose isomerase is required to convert mannose-6-phosphate into fructose-6-phosphate for subsequent catabolism via the Entner-Doudoroff pathway. In addition, all plasmids also conferred to R. eutropha the ability to grow in the presence of glucose. The best growth was observed with a recombinant R. eutropha strain harboring plasmid pBBR1MCS-2::Pnk::glk::glf. In addition, expression of the respective enzymes was demonstrated at the transcriptional and protein levels and by measuring the activities of mannofructokinase (0.622 ± 0.063 U mg−1), phosphomannose isomerase (0.251 ± 0.017 U mg−1), and glucokinase (0.518 ± 0.040 U mg−1). Cells of recombinant strains of R. eutropha synthesized poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) to ca. 65 to 67% (wt/wt) of the cell dry mass in the presence of 1% (wt/vol) glucose or mannose as the sole carbon sources.
doi:10.1128/AEM.01977-10
PMCID: PMC3067221  PMID: 21169447
13.  Sequence and genetic organization of a Zymomonas mobilis gene cluster that encodes several enzymes of glucose metabolism. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1990;172(12):7227-7240.
The Zymomonas mobilis genes that encode glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (zwf), 6-phosphogluconate dehydratase (edd), and glucokinase (glk) were cloned independently by genetic complementation of specific defects in Escherichia coli metabolism. The identity of these cloned genes was confirmed by various biochemical means. Nucleotide sequence analysis established that these three genes are clustered on the genome and revealed an additional open reading frame in this region that has significant amino acid identity to the E. coli xylose-proton symporter and the human glucose transporter. On the basis of this evidence and structural analysis of the deduced primary amino acid sequence, this gene is believed to encode the Z. mobilis glucose-facilitated diffusion protein, glf. The four genes in the 6-kb cluster are organized in the order glf, zwf, edd, glk. The glf and zwf genes are separated by 146 bp. The zwf and edd genes overlap by 8 bp, and their expression may be translationally coupled. The edd and glk genes are separated by 203 bp. The glk gene is followed by tandem transcriptional terminators. The four genes appear to be organized in an operon. Such an arrangement of the genes that govern glucose uptake and the first three steps of the Entner-Doudoroff glycolytic pathway provides the organism with a mechanism for carefully regulating the levels of the enzymes that control carbon flux into the pathway.
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PMCID: PMC210847  PMID: 2254282
14.  Glucose- and Glucokinase-Controlled mal Gene Expression in Escherichia coli▿  
Journal of Bacteriology  2008;191(3):701-712.
MalT is the central transcriptional activator of all mal genes in Escherichia coli. Its activity is controlled by the inducer maltotriose. It can be inhibited by the interaction with certain proteins, and its expression can be controlled. We report here a novel aspect of mal gene regulation: the effect of cytoplasmic glucose and glucokinase (Glk) on the activity and the expression of MalT. Amylomaltase (MalQ) is essential for the metabolism of maltose. It forms maltodextrins and glucose from maltose or maltodextrins. We found that glucose above a concentration of 0.1 mM blocked the activity of the enzyme. malQ mutants when grown in the absence of maltodextrins are endogenously induced by maltotriose that is derived from the degradation of glycogen. Therefore, the fact that glk malQ+ mutants showed elevated mal gene expression finds its explanation in the reduced ability to remove glucose from MalQ-catalyzed maltodextrin formation and is caused by a metabolically induced MalQ− phenotype. However, even in mutants lacking glycogen, Glk controls endogenous induction. We found that overexpressed Glk due to its structural similarity with Mlc, the repressor of malT, binds to the glucose transporter (PtsG), releasing Mlc and thus increasing malT repression. In addition, even in mutants lacking Mlc (and glycogen), the overexpression of glk leads to a reduction in mal gene expression. We interpret this repression by a direct interaction of Glk with MalT concomitant with MalT inhibition. This repression was dependent on the presence of either maltodextrin phosphorylase or amylomaltase and led to the inactivation of MalT.
doi:10.1128/JB.00767-08
PMCID: PMC2632087  PMID: 19028900
15.  Substrate Recognition Mechanism and Substrate-Dependent Conformational Changes of an ROK Family Glucokinase from Streptomyces griseus 
Journal of Bacteriology  2012;194(3):607-616.
Carbon catabolite repression (CCR) is a widespread phenomenon in many bacteria that is defined as the repression of catabolic enzyme activities for an unfavorable carbon source by the presence of a preferable carbon source. In Streptomyces, secondary metabolite production often is negatively affected by the carbon source, indicating the involvement of CCR in secondary metabolism. Although the CCR mechanism in Streptomyces still is unclear, glucokinase is presumably a central player in CCR. SgGlkA, a glucokinase from S. griseus, belongs to the ROK family glucokinases, which have two consensus sequence motifs (1 and 2). Here, we report the crystal structures of apo-SgGlkA, SgGlkA in complex with glucose, and SgGlkA in complex with glucose and adenylyl imidodiphosphate (AMPPNP), which are the first structures of an ROK family glucokinase. SgGlkA is divided into a small α/β domain and a large α+β domain, and it forms a dimer-of-dimer tetrameric configuration. SgGlkA binds a β-anomer of glucose between the two domains, and His157 in consensus sequence 1 plays an important role in the glucose-binding mechanism and anomer specificity of SgGlkA. In the structures of SgGlkA, His157 forms an HC3-type zinc finger motif with three cysteine residues in consensus sequence 2 to bind a zinc ion, and it forms two hydrogen bonds with the C1 and C2 hydroxyls of glucose. When the three structures are compared, the structure of SgGlkA is found to be modified by the binding of substrates. The substrate-dependent conformational changes of SgGlkA may be related to the CCR mechanism in Streptomyces.
doi:10.1128/JB.06173-11
PMCID: PMC3264092  PMID: 22101842
16.  The polycistronic mRNA of the Zymomonas mobilis glf-zwf-edd-glk operon is subject to complex transcript processing. 
Journal of Bacteriology  1992;174(9):2824-2833.
The full-length 6.14-kb polycistronic glf-zwf-edd-glk mRNA from Zymomonas mobilis appears to be processed by endonucleolytic cleavage, resulting in the formation of several discrete transcripts. Northern analysis and transcript mapping revealed that the processed transcripts correspond to functional mono-, di-, or tricistronic messages. The relative abundance of the gene-specific, functional messages was measured. Expression of zwf and edd correlated well with functional message levels. Disproportionally high levels of the glk-specific mRNAs might compensate for the instability of glucokinase by allowing increased translation. The relative abundance of the discrete transcripts was shown to be a function of their respective decay rates. Northern analysis of the fate of the 6.14-kb transcript after inhibition of transcription by rifampin showed that the abundance of shorter, more stable transcripts increased at the expense of longer, less stable transcripts. This is suggestive of endonucleolytic mRNA processing. The most abundant 5' and 3' transcript ends were found to lie within secondary structures that probably impart stability to the most abundant mRNAs.
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PMCID: PMC205933  PMID: 1569014
17.  Generation of High Current Densities by Pure Cultures of Anode-Respiring Geoalkalibacter spp. under Alkaline and Saline Conditions in Microbial Electrochemical Cells 
mBio  2013;4(3):e00144-13.
ABSTRACT
Anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) generate electric current in microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) by channeling electrons from the oxidation of organic substrates to an electrode. Production of high current densities by monocultures in MXCs has resulted almost exclusively from the activity of Geobacter sulfurreducens, a neutrophilic freshwater Fe(III)-reducing bacterium and the highest-current-producing member documented for the Geobacteraceae family of the Deltaproteobacteria. Here we report high current densities generated by haloalkaliphilic Geoalkalibacter spp., thus broadening the capability for high anode respiration rates by including other genera within the Geobacteraceae. In this study, acetate-fed pure cultures of two related Geoalkalibacter spp. produced current densities of 5.0 to 8.3 and 2.4 to 3.3 A m−2 under alkaline (pH 9.3) and saline (1.7% NaCl) conditions, respectively. Chronoamperometric studies of halophilic Glk. subterraneus DSM 23483 and alkaliphilic Glk. ferrihydriticus DSM 17813 suggested that cells performed long-range electron transfer through electrode-attached biofilms and not through soluble electron shuttles. Glk. ferrihydriticus also oxidized ethanol directly to produce current, with maximum current densities of 5.7 to 7.1 A m−2 and coulombic efficiencies of 84 to 95%. Cyclic voltammetry (CV) elicited a sigmoidal response with characteristic onset, midpoint, and saturation potentials, while CV performed in the absence of an electron donor suggested the involvement of redox molecules in the biofilm that were limited by diffusion. These results matched those previously reported for actively respiring Gb. sulfurreducens biofilms producing similar current densities (~5 to 9 A m−2).
IMPORTANCE
This study establishes the highest current densities ever achieved by pure cultures of anode-respiring bacteria (ARB) under alkaline and saline conditions in microbial electrochemical cells (MXCs) and provides the first electrochemical characterization of the genus Geoalkalibacter. Production of high current densities among the Geobacteraceae is no longer exclusive to Geobacter sulfurreducens, suggesting greater versatility for this family in fundamental and applied microbial electrochemical cell (MXC) research than previously considered. Additionally, this work raises the possibility that different members of the Geobacteraceae have conserved molecular mechanisms governing respiratory extracellular electron transfer to electrodes. Thus, the capacity for high current generation may exist in other uncultivated members of this family. Advancement of MXC technology for practical uses must rely on an expanded suite of ARB capable of using different electron donors and producing high current densities under various conditions. Geoalkalibacter spp. can potentially broaden the practical capabilities of MXCs to include energy generation and waste treatment under expanded ranges of salinity and pH.
doi:10.1128/mBio.00144-13
PMCID: PMC3648901  PMID: 23631915
18.  Insights from Streptococcus pneumoniae glucose kinase structural model 
Bioinformation  2009;3(7):308-310.
Streptococcus pneumonia is the common cause of sepsis and meningitis. Emergence of multiple antibiotic resistant strains in the community‐acquired bacterium is catastrophic. Glucose kinase (GLK) is a regulatory enzyme capable of adding phosphate group to glucose in the first step of streptomycin biosynthesis. The activity of glucose kinase was regulated by the Carbon Catabolite Repression (CCR) system. Therefore, it is important to establish the structure‐function relation of GLK in S. pneumoniae. However, a solved structure for S. pneumoniae GLK is not available at the protein data bank (PDB). Therefore, we created a model of GLK from S. pnemoniae using the X‐ray structure of Glk from E. faecalis as template with MODELLER (a comparative modeling program). The model was validated using protein structure checking tools such as PROCHECK, WHAT IF and ProSA for reliability. The active site amino acid Asp114 in the template is retained in S. pneumoniae GLK model (Asp115). Solvent accessible surface area (ASA) analysis of the GLK model showed that known key residues playing important role in active site for ligand binding and metal ion binding are buried and hence not accessible to solvent. The information thus discussed provides insight to the molecular understanding of glucose kinase in S. pneumoniae.
PMCID: PMC2655050  PMID: 19293998
Glucose kinase; active site; model; homology; function
19.  Aspergillus fumigatus Catalytic Glucokinase and Hexokinase: Expression Analysis and Importance for Germination, Growth, and Conidiation▿† 
Eukaryotic Cell  2010;9(7):1120-1135.
Fungi contain several hexokinases, which are involved either in sugar phosphorylation or in carbon source sensing. Glucose and fructose phosphorylations appear to rely exclusively on glucokinase and hexokinase. Here, we characterized the catalytic glucokinase and hexokinase from the opportunistic human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus and showed that both enzymes display different biochemical properties and play different roles during growth and development. Glucokinase efficiently activates glucose and mannose but activates fructose only to a minor extent. Hexokinase showed a high efficiency for fructose activation but also activated glucose and mannose. Transcript and activity determinations revealed high levels of glucokinase in resting conidia, whereas hexokinase was associated mainly with the mycelium. Consequentially, a glucokinase mutant showed delayed germination at low glucose concentrations, whereas colony growth was not overly affected. The deletion of hexokinase had only a minor impact on germination but reduced colony growth, especially on sugar-containing media. Transcript determinations from infected mouse lungs revealed the expression of both genes, indicating a contribution to virulence. Interestingly, a double-deletion mutant showed impaired growth not only on sugars but also on nonfermentable nutrients, and growth on gluconeogenic carbon sources was strongly suppressed in the presence of glucose. Furthermore, the glkA hxkA deletion affected cell wall integrity, implying that both enzymes contribute to the cell wall composition. Additionally, the absence of either enzyme deregulated carbon catabolite repression since mutants displayed an induction of isocitrate lyase activity during growth on glucose-ethanol medium. Therefore, both enzymes seem to be required for balancing carbon flux in A. fumigatus and are indispensable for growth under all nutritional conditions.
doi:10.1128/EC.00362-09
PMCID: PMC2901669  PMID: 20453072
20.  A highly efficient rice green tissue protoplast system for transient gene expression and studying light/chloroplast-related processes 
Plant Methods  2011;7:30.
Background
Plant protoplasts, a proven physiological and versatile cell system, are widely used in high-throughput analysis and functional characterization of genes. Green protoplasts have been successfully used in investigations of plant signal transduction pathways related to hormones, metabolites and environmental challenges. In rice, protoplasts are commonly prepared from suspension cultured cells or etiolated seedlings, but only a few studies have explored the use of protoplasts from rice green tissue.
Results
Here, we report a simplified method for isolating protoplasts from normally cultivated young rice green tissue without the need for unnecessary chemicals and a vacuum device. Transfections of the generated protoplasts with plasmids of a wide range of sizes (4.5-13 kb) and co-transfections with multiple plasmids achieved impressively high efficiencies and allowed evaluations by 1) protein immunoblotting analysis, 2) subcellular localization assays, and 3) protein-protein interaction analysis by bimolecular fluorescence complementation (BiFC) and firefly luciferase complementation (FLC). Importantly, the rice green tissue protoplasts were photosynthetically active and sensitive to the retrograde plastid signaling inducer norflurazon (NF). Transient expression of the GFP-tagged light-related transcription factor OsGLK1 markedly upregulated transcript levels of the endogeneous photosynthetic genes OsLhcb1, OsLhcp, GADPH and RbcS, which were reduced to some extent by NF treatment in the rice green tissue protoplasts.
Conclusions
We show here a simplified and highly efficient transient gene expression system using photosynthetically active rice green tissue protoplasts and its broad applications in protein immunoblot, localization and protein-protein interaction assays. These rice green tissue protoplasts will be particularly useful in studies of light/chloroplast-related processes.
doi:10.1186/1746-4811-7-30
PMCID: PMC3203094  PMID: 21961694
21.  The Function of MoGlk1 in Integration of Glucose and Ammonium Utilization in Magnaporthe oryzae 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e22809.
Hexokinases are conserved proteins functioning in glucose sensing and signaling. The rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae contains several hexokinases, including MoHxk1 (hexokinase) and MoGlk1 (glucokinase) encoded respectively by MoHXK1 and MoGLK1 genes. The heterologous expression of MoGlk1 and MoHxk1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae confirmed their conserved functions. Disruption of MoHXK1 resulted in growth reduction in medium containing fructose as the sole carbon source, whereas disruption of MoGLK1 did not cause the similar defect. However, the ΔMoglk1 mutant displayed decreased proton extrusion and a lower biomass in the presence of ammonium, suggesting a decline in the utilization of ammonium. Additionally, the MoGLK1 allele lacking catalytic activity restored growth to the ΔMoglk1 mutant. Moreover, the expression of MoPMA1 encoding a plasma membrane H+-ATPase decreased in the ΔMoglk1 mutant that can be suppressed by glucose and G-6-P. Thus, MoGlk1, but not MoHxk1, regulates ammonium utilization through a mechanism that is independent from its catalytic activity.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0022809
PMCID: PMC3144931  PMID: 21818394
22.  Purification, crystallization and preliminary X-ray analysis of glucokinase from Streptomyces griseus in complex with glucose 
Glucokinase from S. griseus (SgGlkA) was expressed, purified and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method. A crystal of SgGlkA in complex with glucose diffracted X-rays to 1.84 Å resolution.
Glucokinase catalyzes the phosphorylation of glucose using ATP to yield glucose 6-­phosphate. SgGlkA is a bacterial group III glucokinase from Streptomyces griseus that seems to play a regulatory role in carbon catabolite repression in this organism. SgGlkA was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and crystallized using the sitting-drop vapour-diffusion method at 293 K. A crystal of SgGlkA in complex with glucose was obtained using a reservoir solution consisting of 0.9 M sodium/potassium tartrate, 0.2 M NaCl and 0.1 M imidazole pH 8.1 and diffracted X-rays to 1.84 Å resolution. The crystal of SgGlkA in complex with glucose belonged to space group P6222 or P6422, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 109.19, c = 141.18 Å. The crystal contained one molecule in the asymmetric unit.
doi:10.1107/S1744309111022275
PMCID: PMC3151127  PMID: 21821894
GlkA; catabolite repression; Streptomyces griseus
23.  Engineering yield and rate of reductive biotransformation in Escherichia coli by partial cyclization of the pentose phosphate pathway and PTS-independent glucose transport 
Optimization of yields and productivities in reductive whole-cell biotransformations is an important issue for the industrial application of such processes. In a recent study with Escherichia coli, we analyzed the reduction of the prochiral β-ketoester methyl acetoacetate by an R-specific alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) to the chiral hydroxy ester (R)-methyl 3-hydroxybutyrate (MHB) using glucose as substrate for the generation of NADPH. Deletion of the phosphofructokinase gene pfkA almost doubled the yield to 4.8 mol MHB per mole of glucose, and it was assumed that this effect was due to a partial cyclization of the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Here, this partial cyclization was confirmed by 13C metabolic flux analysis, which revealed a negative net flux from glucose 6-phosphate to fructose 6-phosphate catalyzed by phosphoglucose isomerase. For further process optimization, the genes encoding the glucose facilitator (glf) and glucokinase (glk) of Zymomonas mobilis were overexpressed in recombinant E. coli strains carrying ADH and deletions of either pgi (phosphoglucose isomerase), or pfkA, or pfkA plus pfkB. In all cases, the glucose uptake rate was increased (30–47%), and for strains Δpgi and ΔpfkA also, the specific MHB production rate was increased by 15% and 20%, respectively. The yield of the latter two strains slightly dropped by 11% and 6%, but was still 73% and 132% higher compared to the reference strain with intact pgi and pfkA genes and expressing glf and glk. Thus, metabolic engineering strategies are presented for improving yield and rate of reductive redox biocatalysis by partial cyclization of the PPP and by increasing glucose uptake, respectively.
doi:10.1007/s00253-011-3626-3
PMCID: PMC3275745  PMID: 22002070
Escherichia coli; NADPH yield; 13C flux analysis; pfkA; pfkB; pgi; Reductive whole-cell biotransformation; glf
24.  Arabidopsis cpSRP54 regulates carotenoid accumulation in Arabidopsis and Brassica napus 
Journal of Experimental Botany  2012;63(14):5189-5202.
An Arabidopsis thaliana mutant, cbd (carotenoid biosynthesis deficient), was recovered from a mutant population based on its yellow cotyledons, yellow-first true leaves, and stunted growth. Seven-day-old seedlings and mature seeds of this mutant had lower chlorophyll and total carotenoids than the wild type (WT). Genetic and molecular characterization revealed that cbd was a recessive mutant caused by a T-DNA insertion in the gene cpSRP54 encoding the 54kDa subunit of the chloroplast signal recognition particle. Transcript levels of most of the main carotenoid biosynthetic genes in cbd were unchanged relative to WT, but expression increased in carotenoid and abscisic acid catabolic genes. The chloroplasts of cbd also had developmental defects that contributed to decreased carotenoid and chlorophyll contents. Transcription of AtGLK1 (Golden 2-like 1), AtGLK2, and GUN4 appeared to be disrupted in the cbd mutant suggesting that the plastid-to-nucleus retrograde signal may be affected, regulating the changes in chloroplast functional and developmental states and carotenoid content flux. Transformation of A. thaliana and Brassica napus with a gDNA encoding the Arabidopsis cpSRP54 showed the utility of this gene in enhancing levels of seed carotenoids without affecting growth or seed yield.
doi:10.1093/jxb/ers179
PMCID: PMC3430994  PMID: 22791829
Accumulation, Arabidopsis thaliana, biosynthesis, Brassica napus, carotenoids, gene expression
25.  Profiling Gene Expression in Germinating Brassica Roots 
Based on previously developed solid-phase gene extraction (SPGE) we examined the mRNA profile in primary roots of Brassica rapa seedlings for highly expressed genes like ACT7 (actin7), TUB (tubulin1), UBQ (ubiquitin), and low expressed GLK (glucokinase) during the first day post-germination. The assessment was based on the mRNA load of the SPGE probe of about 2.1 ng. The number of copies of the investigated genes changed spatially along the length of primary roots. The expression level of all genes differed significantly at each sample position. Among the examined genes ACT7 expression was most even along the root. UBQ was highest at the tip and root–shoot junction (RS). TUB and GLK showed a basipetal gradient. The temporal expression of UBQ was highest in the MZ 9 h after primary root emergence and higher than at any other sample position. Expressions of GLK in EZ and RS increased gradually over time. SPGE extraction is the result of oligo-dT and oligo-dA hybridization and the results illustrate that SPGE can be used for gene expression profiling at high spatial and temporal resolution. SPGE needles can be used within two weeks when stored at 4 °C. Our data indicate that gene expression studies that are based on the entire root miss important differences in gene expression that SPGE is able to resolve for example growth adjustments during gravitropism.
doi:10.1007/s11105-013-0668-y
PMCID: PMC3926982  PMID: 24563578
Brassica; Gene expression profiling; mRNA quality; Solid-phase gene extraction

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