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Journal of Bacteriology (1)
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Hagemann, Anna (2)
Hensel, Reinhard (2)
Brinkmann, Henner (1)
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Lupas, Andrei N. (1)
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The First Prokaryotic Trehalose Synthase Complex Identified in the Hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeon Thermoproteus tenax
Lupas, Andrei N.
The role of the disaccharide trehalose, its biosynthesis pathways and their regulation in Archaea are still ambiguous. In Thermoproteus tenax a fused trehalose-6-phosphate synthase/phosphatase (TPSP), consisting of an N-terminal trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (TPS) and a C-terminal trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (TPP) domain, was identified. The tpsp gene is organized in an operon with a putative glycosyltransferase (GT) and a putative mechanosensitive channel (MSC). The T. tenax TPSP exhibits high phosphatase activity, but requires activation by the co-expressed GT for bifunctional synthase-phosphatase activity. The GT mediated activation of TPS activity relies on the fusion of both, TPS and TPP domain, in the TPSP enzyme. Activation is mediated by complex-formation in vivo as indicated by yeast two-hybrid and crude extract analysis. In combination with first evidence for MSC activity the results suggest a sophisticated stress response involving TPSP, GT and MSC in T. tenax and probably in other Thermoproteales species. The monophyletic prokaryotic TPSP proteins likely originated via a single fusion event in the Bacteroidetes with subsequent horizontal gene transfers to other Bacteria and Archaea. Furthermore, evidence for the origin of eukaryotic TPSP fusions via HGT from prokaryotes and therefore a monophyletic origin of eukaryotic and prokaryotic fused TPSPs is presented. This is the first report of a prokaryotic, archaeal trehalose synthase complex exhibiting a much more simple composition than the eukaryotic complex described in yeast. Thus, complex formation and a complex-associated regulatory potential might represent a more general feature of trehalose synthesizing proteins.
Characterization of the CRISPR/Cas Subtype I-A System of the Hyperthermophilic Crenarchaeon Thermoproteus tenax
Journal of Bacteriology
CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats) elements and cas (CRISPR-associated) genes are widespread in Bacteria and Archaea. The CRISPR/Cas system operates as a defense mechanism against mobile genetic elements (i.e., viruses or plasmids). Here, we investigate seven CRISPR loci in the genome of the crenarchaeon Thermoproteus tenax that include spacers with significant similarity not only to archaeal viruses but also to T. tenax genes. The analysis of CRISPR RNA (crRNA) transcription reveals transcripts of a length between 50 and 130 nucleotides, demonstrating the processing of larger crRNA precursors. The organization of identified cas genes resembles CRISPR/Cas subtype I-A, and the core cas genes are shown to be arranged on two polycistronic transcripts: cascis (cas4, cas1/2, and csa1) and cascade (csa5, cas7, cas5a, cas3, cas3′, and cas8a2). Changes in the environmental parameters such as UV-light exposure or high ionic strength modulate cas gene transcription. Two reconstitution protocols were established for the production of two discrete multipartite Cas protein complexes that correspond to their operonic gene arrangement. These data provide insights into the specialized mechanisms of an archaeal CRISPR/Cas system and allow selective functional analyses of Cas protein complexes in the future.
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