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1.  MvaT Family Proteins Encoded on IncP-7 Plasmid pCAR1 and the Host Chromosome Regulate the Host Transcriptome Cooperatively but Differently 
MvaT proteins are members of the H-NS family of proteins in pseudomonads. The IncP-7 conjugative plasmid pCAR1 carries an mvaT-homologous gene, pmr. In Pseudomonas putida KT2440 bearing pCAR1, pmr and the chromosomally carried homologous genes, turA and turB, are transcribed at high levels, and Pmr interacts with TurA and TurB in vitro. In the present study, we clarified how the three MvaT proteins regulate the transcriptome of P. putida KT2440(pCAR1). Analyses performed by a modified chromatin immunoprecipitation assay with microarray technology (ChIP-chip) suggested that the binding regions of Pmr, TurA, and TurB in the P. putida KT2440(pCAR1) genome are almost identical; nevertheless, transcriptomic analyses using mutants with deletions of the genes encoding the MvaT proteins during the log and early stationary growth phases clearly suggested that their regulons were different. Indeed, significant regulon dissimilarity was found between Pmr and the other two proteins. Transcription of a larger number of genes was affected by Pmr deletion during early stationary phase than during log phase, suggesting that Pmr ameliorates the effects of pCAR1 on host fitness more effectively during the early stationary phase. Alternatively, the similarity of the TurA and TurB regulons implied that they might play complementary roles as global transcriptional regulators in response to plasmid carriage.
PMCID: PMC4725287  PMID: 26590283
2.  HpDTC1, a Stress-Inducible Bifunctional Diterpene Cyclase Involved in Momilactone Biosynthesis, Functions in Chemical Defence in the Moss Hypnum plumaeforme 
Scientific Reports  2016;6:25316.
Momilactones, which are diterpenoid phytoalexins with antimicrobial and allelopathic functions, have been found only in rice and the moss Hypnum plumaeforme. Although these two evolutionarily distinct plant species are thought to produce momilactones as a chemical defence, the momilactone biosynthetic pathway in H. plumaeforme has been unclear. Here, we identified a gene encoding syn-pimara-7,15-diene synthase (HpDTC1) responsible for the first step of momilactone biosynthesis in the moss. HpDTC1 is a bifunctional diterpene cyclase that catalyses a two-step cyclization reaction of geranylgeranyl diphosphate to syn-pimara-7,15-diene. HpDTC1 transcription was up-regulated in response to abiotic and biotic stress treatments. HpDTC1 promoter-GUS analysis in transgenic Physcomitrella patens showed similar transcriptional responses as H. plumaeforme to the stresses, suggesting that a common response system to stress exists in mosses. Jasmonic acid (JA), a potent signalling molecule for inducing plant defences, could not activate HpDTC1 expression. In contrast, 12-oxo-phytodienoic acid, an oxylipin precursor of JA in vascular plants, enhanced HpDTC1 expression and momilactone accumulation, implying that as-yet-unknown oxylipins could regulate momilactone biosynthesis in H. plumaeforme. These results demonstrate the existence of an evolutionarily conserved chemical defence system utilizing momilactones and suggest the molecular basis of the regulation for inductive production of momilactones in H. plumaeforme.
PMCID: PMC4853780  PMID: 27137939
3.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of the reduced form of the terminal oxygenase component of the Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase system carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase 
The reduced form of the terminal oxygenase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Janthinobacterium sp. J3 was crystallized. The crystals belonged to space group P65 and diffracted to 1.74 Å resolution.
The initial reaction of bacterial carbazole degradation is catalysed by carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase, which consists of terminal oxygenase, ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase components. The reduced form of the terminal oxygenase component was crystallized at 293 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG MME 550 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystals diffracted to a resolution of 1.74 Å and belonged to space group P65, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 92.0, c = 243.6 Å. The asymmetric unit contained a trimer of terminal oxygenase molecules.
PMCID: PMC3818054  PMID: 24192370
reduced form; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase; terminal oxygenase component; Janthinobacterium sp. J3; carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase
4.  Inhibition of Pseudomonas aeruginosa Swarming Motility by 1-Naphthol and Other Bicyclic Compounds Bearing Hydroxyl Groups 
Many bacteria convert bicyclic compounds, such as indole and naphthalene, to oxidized compounds, including hydroxyindoles and naphthols. Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a ubiquitous bacterium that inhabits diverse environments, shows pathogenicity against animals, plants, and other microorganisms, and increasing evidence has shown that several bicyclic compounds alter the virulence-related phenotypes of P. aeruginosa. Here, we revealed that hydroxyindoles (4- and 5-hydroxyindoles) and naphthalene derivatives bearing hydroxyl groups specifically inhibit swarming motility but have minor effects on other motilities, including swimming and twitching, in P. aeruginosa. Further analyses using 1-naphthol showed that this effect is also associated with clinically isolated hyperswarming P. aeruginosa cells. Swarming motility is associated with the dispersion of cells from biofilms, and the addition of 1-naphthol maintained biofilm biomass without cell dispersion. We showed that this 1-naphthol-dependent swarming inhibition is independent of changes of rhamnolipid production and the intracellular level of signaling molecule cyclic-di-GMP (c-di-GMP). Transcriptome analyses revealed that 1-naphthol increases gene expression associated with multidrug efflux and represses gene expression associated with aerotaxis and with pyochelin, flagellar, and pilus synthesis. In the present study, we showed that several bicyclic compounds bearing hydroxyl groups inhibit the swarming motility of P. aeruginosa, and these results provide new insight into the chemical structures that inhibit the specific phenotypes of P. aeruginosa.
PMCID: PMC4375311  PMID: 25681177
5.  Effects of Three Different Nucleoid-Associated Proteins Encoded on IncP-7 Plasmid pCAR1 on Host Pseudomonas putida KT2440 
Nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs), which fold bacterial DNA and influence gene transcription, are considered to be global transcriptional regulators of genes on both plasmids and the host chromosome. Incompatibility P-7 group plasmid pCAR1 carries genes encoding three NAPs: H-NS family protein Pmr, NdpA-like protein Pnd, and HU-like protein Phu. In this study, the effects of single or double disruption of pmr, pnd, and phu were assessed in host Pseudomonas putida KT2440. When pmr and pnd or pmr and phu were simultaneously disrupted, both the segregational stability and the structural stability of pCAR1 were markedly decreased, suggesting that Pmr, Pnd, and Phu act as plasmid-stabilizing factors in addition to their established roles in replication and partition systems. The transfer frequency of pCAR1 was significantly decreased in these double mutants. The segregational and structural instability of pCAR1 in the double mutants was recovered by complementation of pmr, whereas no recovery of transfer deficiency was observed. Comprehensive phenotype comparisons showed that the host metabolism of carbon compounds, which was reduced by pCAR1 carriage, was restored by disruption of the NAP gene(s). Transcriptome analyses of mutants indicated that transcription of genes for energy production, conversion, inorganic ion transport, and metabolism were commonly affected; however, how their products altered the phenotypes of mutants was not clear. The findings of this study indicated that Pmr, Pnd, and Phu act synergistically to affect pCAR1 replication, maintenance, and transfer, as well as to alter the host metabolic phenotype.
PMCID: PMC4375338  PMID: 25681185
6.  Transcriptional mechanisms for differential expression of outer membrane cytochrome genes omcA and mtrC in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 
BMC Microbiology  2015;15:68.
Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 is capable of reducing extracellular electron acceptors, such as metals and electrodes, through the Mtr respiratory pathway, which consists of the outer membrane cytochromes OmcA and MtrC and associated proteins MtrA and MtrB. These proteins are encoded in the mtr gene cluster (omcA-mtrCAB) in the MR-1 chromosome.
Here, we investigated the transcriptional mechanisms for the mtr genes and demonstrated that omcA and mtrC are transcribed from two upstream promoters, PomcA and PmtrC, respectively. In vivo transcription and in vitro electrophoretic mobility shift assays revealed that a cAMP receptor protein (CRP) positively regulates the expression of the mtr genes by binding to the upstream regions of PomcA and PmtrC. However, the expression of omcA and mtrC was differentially regulated in response to culture conditions; specifically, the expression from PmtrC was higher under aerobic conditions than that under anaerobic conditions with fumarate as an electron acceptor, whereas expression from PomcA exhibited the opposite trend. Deletion of the region upstream of the CRP-binding site of PomcA resulted in a significant increase in promoter activity under aerobic conditions, demonstrating that the deleted region is involved in the negative regulation of PomcA.
Taken together, the present results indicate that transcription of the mtr genes is regulated by multiple promoters and regulatory systems, including the CRP/cAMP-dependent regulatory system and yet-unidentified negative regulators.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s12866-015-0406-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC4417206  PMID: 25886963
Extracellular electron transfer; Outer membrane cytochrome; Transcriptional regulation; Shewanella
7.  Structural Basis of the Divergent Oxygenation Reactions Catalyzed by the Rieske Nonheme Iron Oxygenase Carbazole 1,9a-Dioxygenase 
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO), a Rieske nonheme iron oxygenase (RO), is a three-component system composed of a terminal oxygenase (Oxy), ferredoxin, and a ferredoxin reductase. Oxy has angular dioxygenation activity against carbazole. Previously, site-directed mutagenesis of the Oxy-encoding gene from Janthinobacterium sp. strain J3 generated the I262V, F275W, Q282N, and Q282Y Oxy derivatives, which showed oxygenation capabilities different from those of the wild-type enzyme. To understand the structural features resulting in the different oxidation reactions, we determined the crystal structures of the derivatives, both free and complexed with substrates. The I262V, F275W, and Q282Y derivatives catalyze the lateral dioxygenation of carbazole with higher yields than the wild type. A previous study determined the crystal structure of Oxy complexed with carbazole and revealed that the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178 hydrogen bonds with the imino nitrogen of carbazole. In these derivatives, the carbazole was rotated approximately 15, 25, and 25°, respectively, compared to the wild type, creating space for a water molecule, which hydrogen bonds with the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178 and the imino nitrogen of carbazole. In the crystal structure of the F275W derivative complexed with fluorene, C-9 of fluorene, which corresponds to the imino nitrogen of carbazole, was oriented close to the mutated residue Trp275, which is on the opposite side of the binding pocket from the carbonyl oxygen of Gly178. Our structural analyses demonstrate that the fine-tuning of hydrophobic residues on the surface of the substrate-binding pocket in ROs causes a slight shift in the substrate-binding position that, in turn, favors specific oxygenation reactions toward various substrates.
PMCID: PMC3993299  PMID: 24584240
8.  Complete Genome Sequence of a Dimethyl Sulfide-Utilizing Bacterium, Acinetobacter guillouiae Strain 20B (NBRC 110550) 
Genome Announcements  2014;2(5):e01048-14.
Acinetobacter guillouiae strain 20B can utilize dimethyl sulfide (DMS) as the sole sulfur source and degrade chloroethylenes. We report here the complete 4,648,418-bp genome sequence for this strain, which contains 4,367 predicted coding sequences (CDSs), including a well-characterized DMS degradative operon.
PMCID: PMC4200156  PMID: 25323718
9.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction analyses of the redox-controlled complex of terminal oxygenase and ferredoxin components in the Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase 
A crystal was obtained of the complex between reduced terminal oxygenase and oxidized ferredoxin components of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase. The crystal belonged to space group P21 and diffracted to 2.25 Å resolution.
The initial reaction in bacterial carbazole degradation is catalyzed by carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase, which consists of terminal oxygenase (Oxy), ferredoxin (Fd) and ferredoxin reductase components. The electron-transfer complex between reduced Oxy and oxidized Fd was crystallized at 293 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with PEG 3350 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystal diffracted to a maximum resolution of 2.25 Å and belonged to space group P21, with unit-cell parameters a = 97.3, b = 81.6, c = 116.2 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 100.1°. The V M value is 2.85 Å3 Da−1, indicating a solvent content of 56.8%.
PMCID: PMC4188090  PMID: 25286950
Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase; electron-transfer complex; terminal oxygenase; ferredoxin; carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase
10.  Identification of Target Genes of the bZIP Transcription Factor OsTGAP1, Whose Overexpression Causes Elicitor-Induced Hyperaccumulation of Diterpenoid Phytoalexins in Rice Cells 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105823.
Phytoalexins are specialised antimicrobial metabolites that are produced by plants in response to pathogen attack. Momilactones and phytocassanes are the major diterpenoid phytoalexins in rice and are synthesised from geranylgeranyl diphosphate, which is derived from the methylerythritol phosphate (MEP) pathway. The hyperaccumulation of momilactones and phytocassanes due to the hyperinductive expression of the relevant biosynthetic genes and the MEP pathway gene OsDXS3 in OsTGAP1-overexpressing (OsTGAP1ox) rice cells has previously been shown to be stimulated by the chitin oligosaccharide elicitor. In this study, to clarify the mechanisms of the elicitor-stimulated coordinated hyperinduction of these phytoalexin biosynthetic genes in OsTGAP1ox cells, transcriptome analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation with next-generation sequencing were performed, resulting in the identification of 122 OsTGAP1 target genes. Transcriptome analysis revealed that nearly all of the momilactone and phytocassane biosynthetic genes, which are clustered on chromosomes 4 and 2, respectively, and the MEP pathway genes were hyperinductively expressed in the elicitor-stimulated OsTGAP1ox cells. Unexpectedly, none of the clustered genes was included among the OsTGAP1 target genes, suggesting that OsTGAP1 did not directly regulate the expression of these biosynthetic genes through binding to each promoter region. Interestingly, however, several OsTGAP1-binding regions were found in the intergenic regions among and near the cluster regions. Concerning the MEP pathway genes, only OsDXS3, which encodes a key enzyme of the MEP pathway, possessed an OsTGAP1-binding region in its upstream region. A subsequent transactivation assay further confirmed the direct regulation of OsDXS3 expression by OsTGAP1, but other MEP pathway genes were not included among the OsTGAP1 target genes. Collectively, these results suggest that OsTGAP1 participates in the enhanced accumulation of diterpenoid phytoalexins, primarily through mechanisms other than the direct transcriptional regulation of the genes involved in the biosynthetic pathway of these phytoalexins.
PMCID: PMC4144896  PMID: 25157897
11.  Oligomerization Mechanisms of an H-NS Family Protein, Pmr, Encoded on the Plasmid pCAR1 Provide a Molecular Basis for Functions of H-NS Family Members 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(8):e105656.
Enterobacterial H-NS-like proteins and Pseudomonas MvaT-like proteins share low homology at the amino acid sequence level, but both can function as xenogeneic silencers and are included in the H-NS family of proteins. H-NS family members have dimerization/oligomerization and DNA-binding domains connected by a flexible linker and form large nucleoprotein complexes using both domains. Pmr, an MvaT-like protein encoded on the IncP-7 carbazole-degradative plasmid pCAR1, is a key regulator of an interaction between pCAR1 and its host Pseudomonas putida KT2440. KT2440 has two transcribed genes that encode the MvaT-like proteins TurA and TurB. Our previous transcriptome analyses suggested that the functions of Pmr, TurA and TurB are non-equivalent, although the detailed underlying mechanisms remain unclear. In this study, we focused on the protein–protein interactions of Pmr, and assessed the homo-oligomerization capacity of various substituted and truncated Pmr derivatives by protein–protein cross-linking analysis. Six of the seven residues identified as important for homo-oligomerization in Pmr were located near the N-terminus, and the putative flexible linker or the region near that was not involved in homo-oligomerization, suggesting that Pmr homo-oligomerization is different from that of enterobacterial H-NS and that the functional mechanism differs between H-NS-like and MvaT-like proteins. In addition, we assessed homo- and hetero-oligomerization of Pmr by surface plasmon resonance analysis and found that the coupling ratio of TurB-Pmr oligomers is smaller than that of Pmr-Pmr or TurA-Pmr oligomers. These results raised the possibility that composition of the hetero-oligomers of Pmr, TurA, and TurB could explain why the different gene sets were affected by either pmr, turA, or turB disruption in our previous studies.
PMCID: PMC4138198  PMID: 25137042
12.  Single-Cell Analyses Revealed Transfer Ranges of IncP-1, IncP-7, and IncP-9 Plasmids in a Soil Bacterial Community 
The conjugative transfer ranges of three different plasmids of the incompatibility groups IncP-1 (pBP136), IncP-7 (pCAR1), and IncP-9 (NAH7) were investigated in soil bacterial communities by culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Pseudomonas putida, a donor of each plasmid, was mated with soil bacteria, and green fluorescent protein (GFP), encoded on the plasmid, was used as a reporter protein for successful transfer. GFP-expressing transconjugants were detected and separated at the single-cell level by flow cytometry. Each cell was then analyzed by PCR and sequencing of its 16S rRNA gene following either whole-genome amplification or cultivation. A large number of bacteria within the phylum Proteobacteria was identified as transconjugants for pBP136 by both culture-dependent and culture-independent methods. Transconjugants belonging to the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, and Firmicutes were detected only by the culture-independent method. Members of the genus Pseudomonas (class Gammaproteobacteria) were identified as major transconjugants of pCAR1 and NAH7 by both methods, whereas Delftia species (class Betaproteobacteria) were detected only by the culture-independent method. The transconjugants represented a minority of the soil bacteria. Although pCAR1-containing Delftia strains could not be cultivated after a one-to-one filter mating assay between the donor and cultivable Delftia strains as recipients, fluorescence in situ hybridization detected pCAR1-containing Delftia cells, suggesting that Delftia was a “transient” host of pCAR1.
PMCID: PMC3911017  PMID: 24141122
13.  Overexpression of Phosphomimic Mutated OsWRKY53 Leads to Enhanced Blast Resistance in Rice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(6):e98737.
WRKY transcription factors and mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascades have been shown to play pivotal roles in the regulation of plant defense responses. We previously reported that OsWRKY53-overexpressing rice plants showed enhanced resistance to the rice blast fungus. In this study, we identified OsWRKY53 as a substrate of OsMPK3/OsMPK6, components of a fungal PAMP-responsive MAPK cascade in rice, and analyzed the effect of OsWRKY53 phosphorylation on the regulation of basal defense responses to a virulence race of rice blast fungus Magnaporthe oryzae strain Ina86-137. An in vitro phosphorylation assay revealed that the OsMPK3/OsMPK6 activated by OsMKK4 phosphorylated OsWRKY53 recombinant protein at its multiple clustered serine-proline residues (SP cluster). When OsWRKY53 was coexpressed with a constitutively active mutant of OsMKK4 in a transient reporter gene assay, the enhanced transactivation activity of OsWRKY53 was found to be dependent on phosphorylation of the SP cluster. Transgenic rice plants overexpressing a phospho-mimic mutant of OsWRKY53 (OsWRKY53SD) showed further-enhanced disease resistance to the blast fungus compared to native OsWRKY53-overexpressing rice plants, and a substantial number of defense-related genes, including pathogenesis-related protein genes, were more upregulated in the OsWRKY53SD-overexpressing plants compared to the OsWRKY53-overexpressing plants. These results strongly suggest that the OsMKK4-OsMPK3/OsMPK6 cascade regulates transactivation activity of OsWRKY53, and overexpression of the phospho-mimic mutant of OsWRKY53 results in a major change to the rice transcriptome at steady state that leads to activation of a defense response against the blast fungus in rice plants.
PMCID: PMC4043820  PMID: 24892523
14.  The potential bioproduction of the pharmaceutical agent sakuranetin, a flavonoid phytoalexin in rice 
Bioengineered  2012;3(6):352-357.
Sakuranetin, the major flavonoid phytoalexin in rice, can be induced by ultraviolet (UV) irradiation, treatment with CuCl2 or jasmonic acid (JA), or phytopathogenic infection. In addition to sakuranetin’s biological significance on disease resistance in rice, its broad bioactivities have recently been described. Results from these studies have shown that sakuranetin is a useful compound as a plant antibiotic and a potential pharmaceutical agent. Sakuranetin is biosynthesized from naringenin, a precursor of sakuranetin, by naringenin 7-O-methyltransferase (NOMT), but the relevant gene has not yet been identified in rice. Recently, we identified the OsNOMT gene, which is involved in the final step of sakuranetin biosynthesis in rice. In previous studies, OsNOMT was purified to apparent homogeneity from UV-treated wild-type rice leaves; however, the purified protein, termed OsCOMT1, exhibited caffeic acid 3-O-methyltransferase (COMT) activity, but not NOMT activity. Based on the analysis of an oscomt1 T-DNA tagged mutant, we determined that OsCOMT1 did not contribute to sakuranetin production in rice in vivo. Therefore, we took advantage of the oscomt1 mutant to purify OsNOMT. A crude protein preparation from UV-treated oscomt1 leaves was subjected to three sequential purification steps resulting in a 400-fold purification from the crude enzyme preparation with a minor band at an apparent molecular mass of 40 kDa in the purest enzyme preparation. Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time of flight/time of flight analysis showed that the 40 kDa protein band included two O-methyltransferase-like proteins, but one of the proteins encoded by Os12g0240900 exhibited clear NOMT activity; thus, this gene was designated OsNOMT. Gene expression was induced by treatment with jasmonic acid in rice leaves prior to sakuranetin accumulation, and the recombinant protein showed reasonable kinetic properties to NOMT. Identification of the OsNOMT gene enables the production of large amounts of sakuranetin through transgenic rice and microorganisms. This finding also allows for the generation of disease-resistant and sakuranetin biofortified rice in the future.
PMCID: PMC3489713  PMID: 22895058
Oryza sativa; disease resistance; flavonoid; phytoalexin; O-methyltransferase; sakuranetin
15.  Complete Genome Sequence of the Carbazole Degrader Pseudomonas resinovorans Strain CA10 (NBRC 106553) 
Genome Announcements  2013;1(4):e00488-13.
Pseudomonas resinovorans strain CA10 can grow on carbazole as its sole carbon and nitrogen source. Here, we report the complete nucleotide sequence of the CA10 genome (a 6,285,863-bp chromosome and a 198,965-bp plasmid). CA10 carries a larger number of genes that are potentially responsible for aromatic hydrocarbon metabolism than do other previously sequenced Pseudomonas spp.
PMCID: PMC3735057  PMID: 23887915
16.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a terminal oxygenase of carbazole 1,9a-­dioxygenase from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The terminal oxygenase component (Oxy) of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) catalyzes dihydroxylation of the aromatic ring. The Oxy of CARDO from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystals diffracted to a resolution of 2.1 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial dioxygenase in the carbazole-degradation pathway of Novosphingobium sp. KA1. The CARDO from KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase (Oxy), a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin reductase. The Oxy from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized at 277 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. Diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 2.1 Å. The crystals belonged to the monoclinic space group P21. Self-rotation function analysis suggested that the asymmetric unit contained two Oxy trimers; the Matthews coefficient and solvent content were calculated to be 5.9 Å3 Da−1 and 79.1%, respectively.
PMCID: PMC3001653  PMID: 21045300
carbazole; Novosphingobium; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; sphingomonads; terminal oxygenases
18.  Structural insight into the substrate- and dioxygen-binding manner in the catalytic cycle of rieske nonheme iron oxygenase system, carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase 
Dihydroxylation of tandemly linked aromatic carbons in a cis-configuration, catalyzed by multicomponent oxygenase systems known as Rieske nonheme iron oxygenase systems (ROs), often constitute the initial step of aerobic degradation pathways for various aromatic compounds. Because such RO reactions inherently govern whether downstream degradation processes occur, novel oxygenation mechanisms involving oxygenase components of ROs (RO-Os) is of great interest. Despite substantial progress in structural and physicochemical analyses, no consensus exists on the chemical steps in the catalytic cycles of ROs. Thus, determining whether conformational changes at the active site of RO-O occur by substrate and/or oxygen binding is important. Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO), a RO member consists of catalytic terminal oxygenase (CARDO-O), ferredoxin (CARDO-F), and ferredoxin reductase. We have succeeded in determining the crystal structures of oxidized CARDO-O, oxidized CARDO-F, and both oxidized and reduced forms of the CARDO-O: CARDO-F binary complex.
In the present study, we determined the crystal structures of the reduced carbazole (CAR)-bound, dioxygen-bound, and both CAR- and dioxygen-bound CARDO-O: CARDO-F binary complex structures at 1.95, 1.85, and 2.00 Å resolution. These structures revealed the conformational changes that occur in the catalytic cycle. Structural comparison between complex structures in each step of the catalytic mechanism provides several implications, such as the order of substrate and dioxygen bindings, the iron-dioxygen species likely being Fe(III)-(hydro)peroxo, and the creation of room for dioxygen binding and the promotion of dioxygen binding in desirable fashion by preceding substrate binding.
The RO catalytic mechanism is proposed as follows: When the Rieske cluster is reduced, substrate binding induces several conformational changes (e.g., movements of the nonheme iron and the ligand residue) that create room for oxygen binding. Dioxygen bound in a side-on fashion onto nonheme iron is activated by reduction to the peroxo state [Fe(III)-(hydro)peroxo]. This state may react directly with the bound substrate, or O–O bond cleavage may occur to generate Fe(V)-oxo-hydroxo species prior to the reaction. After producing a cis-dihydrodiol, the product is released by reducing the nonheme iron. This proposed scheme describes the catalytic cycle of ROs and provides important information for a better understanding of the mechanism.
PMCID: PMC3423008  PMID: 22727022
19.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a ferredoxin reductase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The ferredoxin reductase component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (Red) is involved in electron transfer from NAD(P)H to ferredoxin. The class IIA Red from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized and the crystal diffracted to a resolution of 1.58 Å.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) is the initial enzyme of the carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of Novosphingobium sp. KA1 consists of a terminal oxygenase, a putidaredoxin-type ferredoxin and a ferredoxin-NADH oxidoreductase (Red) and is classified as a class IIA Rieske oxygenase. Red from KA1 was crystallized at 278 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG 4000. The crystal diffracted to 1.58 Å resolution and belonged to space group P32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 92.2, c = 78.6 Å, α = γ = 90, β = 120°. Preliminary analysis of the X-ray diffraction data revealed that the asymmetric unit contained two Red monomers. The crystal appeared to be a merohedral twin, with a twin fraction of 0.32 and twin law (−h, −k, l).
PMCID: PMC2882777  PMID: 20516607
carbazole; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases; ferredoxin reductases
21.  Pmr, a Histone-Like Protein H1 (H-NS) Family Protein Encoded by the IncP-7 Plasmid pCAR1, Is a Key Global Regulator That Alters Host Function▿ ¶  
Journal of Bacteriology  2010;192(18):4720-4731.
Histone-like protein H1 (H-NS) family proteins are nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) conserved among many bacterial species. The IncP-7 plasmid pCAR1 is transmissible among various Pseudomonas strains and carries a gene encoding the H-NS family protein, Pmr. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a host of pCAR1, which harbors five genes encoding the H-NS family proteins PP_1366 (TurA), PP_3765 (TurB), PP_0017 (TurC), PP_3693 (TurD), and PP_2947 (TurE). Quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) demonstrated that the presence of pCAR1 does not affect the transcription of these five genes and that only pmr, turA, and turB were primarily transcribed in KT2440(pCAR1). In vitro pull-down assays revealed that Pmr strongly interacted with itself and with TurA, TurB, and TurE. Transcriptome comparisons of the pmr disruptant, KT2440, and KT2440(pCAR1) strains indicated that pmr disruption had greater effects on the host transcriptome than did pCAR1 carriage. The transcriptional levels of some genes that increased with pCAR1 carriage, such as the mexEF-oprN efflux pump genes and parI, reverted with pmr disruption to levels in pCAR1-free KT2440. Transcriptional levels of putative horizontally acquired host genes were not altered by pCAR1 carriage but were altered by pmr disruption. Identification of genome-wide Pmr binding sites by ChAP-chip (chromatin affinity purification coupled with high-density tiling chip) analysis demonstrated that Pmr preferentially binds to horizontally acquired DNA regions. The Pmr binding sites overlapped well with the location of the genes differentially transcribed following pmr disruption on both the plasmid and the chromosome. Our findings indicate that Pmr is a key factor in optimizing gene transcription on pCAR1 and the host chromosome.
PMCID: PMC2937398  PMID: 20639326
22.  Distribution of Genes Encoding Nucleoid-Associated Protein Homologs in Plasmids 
Bacterial nucleoid-associated proteins (NAPs) form nucleoprotein complexes and influence the expression of genes. Recent studies have shown that some plasmids carry genes encoding NAP homologs, which play important roles in transcriptional regulation networks between plasmids and host chromosomes. In this study, we determined the distributions of the well-known NAPs Fis, H-NS, HU, IHF, and Lrp and the newly found NAPs MvaT and NdpA among the whole-sequenced 1382 plasmids found in Gram-negative bacteria. Comparisons between NAP distributions and plasmid features (size, G+C content, and putative transferability) were also performed. We found that larger plasmids frequently have NAP gene homologs. Plasmids with H-NS gene homologs had less G+C content. It should be noted that plasmids with the NAP gene homolog also carried the relaxase gene involved in the conjugative transfer of plasmids more frequently than did those without the NAP gene homolog, implying that plasmid-encoded NAP homologs positively contribute to transmissible plasmids.
PMCID: PMC3042613  PMID: 21350637
23.  Crystallization and preliminary X-ray diffraction studies of a novel ferredoxin involved in the dioxygenation of carbazole by Novosphingobium sp. KA1 
The ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO-F) is involved in an electron-transfer reaction. The CARDO-F from Novosphingobium sp. KA1 was crystallized under anaerobic conditions and diffracted to a resolution of 1.9 Å.
Novosphingobium sp. KA1 uses carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) as the first dioxygenase in its carbazole-degradation pathway. The CARDO of KA1 contains a terminal oxygenase component and two electron-transfer components: ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase. In contrast to the CARDO systems of other species, the ferredoxin component of KA1 is a putidaredoxin-type protein. This novel ferredoxin was crystallized at 293 K by the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method using PEG MME 550 as the precipitant under anaerobic conditions. The crystals belong to space group C2221 and diffraction data were collected to a resolution of 1.9 Å (the diffraction limit was 1.6 Å).
PMCID: PMC2443972  PMID: 18607094
carbazole; putidaredoxin-type proteins; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenases
24.  Carbazole-Degradative IncP-7 Plasmid pCAR1.2 Is Structurally Unstable in Pseudomonas fluorescens Pf0-1, Which Accumulates Catechol, the Intermediate of the Carbazole Degradation Pathway▿ †  
Applied and Environmental Microbiology  2009;75(12):3920-3929.
We determined the effect of the host on the function and structure of the nearly identical IncP-7 carbazole-degradative plasmids pCAR1.1 and pCAR1.2. We constructed Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1(pCAR1.2) and P. fluorescens Pf0-1Km(pCAR1.2) and compared their growth on carbazole- and succinate-containing media with that of P. putida KT2440(pCAR1.1). We also assessed the stability of the genetic structures of the plasmids in each of the three hosts. Pf0-1Km(pCAR1.2) showed dramatically delayed growth when carbazole was supplied as the sole carbon source, while the three strains grew at nearly the same rate on succinate. Among the carbazole-grown Pf0-1Km(pCAR1.2) cells, two types of deficient strains appeared and dominated the population; such dominance was not observed in the other two strains or for succinate-grown Pf0-1Km(pCAR1.2). Genetic analysis showed that the two deficient strains possessed pCAR1.2 derivatives in which the carbazole-degradative car operon was deleted or its regulatory gene, antR, was deleted by homologous recombination between insertion sequences. From genomic information and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR analyses of the genes involved in carbazole mineralization by Pf0-1Km(pCAR1.2), we found that the cat genes on the chromosome of Pf0-1Km, which are necessary for the degradation of catechol (a toxic intermediate in the carbazole catabolic pathway), were not induced in the presence of carbazole. The resulting accumulation of catechol may have enabled the strain that lost its carbazole-degrading ability to have overall higher fitness than the wild-type strain. These results suggest that the functions of the chromosomal genes contributed to the selection of plasmid derivatives with altered structures.
PMCID: PMC2698365  PMID: 19376894
25.  Crystallization and preliminary crystallographic analysis of the ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Nocardioides aromaticivorans IC177 
The ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from N. aromaticivorans IC177 was crystallized and diffraction data were collected to 2.0 Å resolution.
Carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase (CARDO) catalyzes the dihydroxylation of carbazole by angular position (C9a) carbon bonding to the imino nitrogen and its adjacent C1 carbon. CARDO consists of a terminal oxygenase component and two electron-transfer components: ferredoxin and ferredoxin reductase. The ferredoxin component of carbazole 1,9a-dioxygenase from Nocardioides aromaticivorans IC177 was crystallized at 293 K using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method with ammonium sulfate as the precipitant. The crystals, which were improved by macroseeding, diffract to 2.0 Å resolution and belong to space group P41212.
PMCID: PMC2339720  PMID: 17909288
ferredoxins; carbazole; Rieske nonhaem iron oxygenase system; Rieske-type proteins

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