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1.  Genome Sequence of the Radioresistant Bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans R1 
Science (New York, N.Y.)  1999;286(5444):1571-1577.
The complete genome sequence of the radiation resistant bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans R1 is composed of two chromosomes (2,648,615 and 412,340 basepairs), a megaplasmid (177,466 basepairs), and a small plasmid (45,702 basepairs) yielding a total genome of 3,284,123 basepairs. Multiple components distributed on the chromosomes and megaplasmid that contribute to the ability of D. radiodurans to survive under conditions of starvation, oxidative stress, and high levels of DNA-damage have been identified. D. radiodurans represents an organism in which all systems for DNA repair, DNA damage export, desiccation and starvation recovery, and genetic redundancy are present in one cell.
PMCID: PMC4147723  PMID: 10567266
2.  RecA Protein from the Extremely Radioresistant Bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans: Expression, Purification, and Characterization 
Journal of Bacteriology  2002;184(6):1649-1660.
The RecA protein of Deinococcus radiodurans (RecADr) is essential for the extreme radiation resistance of this organism. The RecADr protein has been cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli and purified from this host. In some respects, the RecADr protein and the E. coli RecA (RecAEc) proteins are close functional homologues. RecADr forms filaments on single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) that are similar to those formed by the RecAEc. The RecADr protein hydrolyzes ATP and dATP and promotes DNA strand exchange reactions. DNA strand exchange is greatly facilitated by the E. coli SSB protein. As is the case with the E. coli RecA protein, the use of dATP as a cofactor permits more facile displacement of bound SSB protein from ssDNA. However, there are important differences as well. The RecADr protein promotes ATP- and dATP-dependent reactions with distinctly different pH profiles. Although dATP is hydrolyzed at approximately the same rate at pHs 7.5 and 8.1, dATP supports an efficient DNA strand exchange only at pH 8.1. At both pHs, ATP supports efficient DNA strand exchange through heterologous insertions but dATP does not. Thus, dATP enhances the binding of RecADr protein to ssDNA and the displacement of ssDNA binding protein, but the hydrolysis of dATP is poorly coupled to DNA strand exchange. The RecADr protein thus may offer new insights into the role of ATP hydrolysis in the DNA strand exchange reactions promoted by the bacterial RecA proteins. In addition, the RecADr protein binds much better to duplex DNA than the RecAEc protein, binding preferentially to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) even when ssDNA is present in the solutions. This may be of significance in the pathways for dsDNA break repair in Deinococcus.
PMCID: PMC134872  PMID: 11872716
3.  Genome of the Extremely Radiation-Resistant Bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans Viewed from the Perspective of Comparative Genomics 
The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans shows remarkable resistance to a range of damage caused by ionizing radiation, desiccation, UV radiation, oxidizing agents, and electrophilic mutagens. D. radiodurans is best known for its extreme resistance to ionizing radiation; not only can it grow continuously in the presence of chronic radiation (6 kilorads/h), but also it can survive acute exposures to gamma radiation exceeding 1,500 kilorads without dying or undergoing induced mutation. These characteristics were the impetus for sequencing the genome of D. radiodurans and the ongoing development of its use for bioremediation of radioactive wastes. Although it is known that these multiple resistance phenotypes stem from efficient DNA repair processes, the mechanisms underlying these extraordinary repair capabilities remain poorly understood. In this work we present an extensive comparative sequence analysis of the Deinococcus genome. Deinococcus is the first representative with a completely sequenced genome from a distinct bacterial lineage of extremophiles, the Thermus-Deinococcus group. Phylogenetic tree analysis, combined with the identification of several synapomorphies between Thermus and Deinococcus, supports the hypothesis that it is an ancient group with no clear affinities to any of the other known bacterial lineages. Distinctive features of the Deinococcus genome as well as features shared with other free-living bacteria were revealed by comparison of its proteome to the collection of clusters of orthologous groups of proteins. Analysis of paralogs in Deinococcus has revealed several unique protein families. In addition, specific expansions of several other families including phosphatases, proteases, acyltransferases, and Nudix family pyrophosphohydrolases were detected. Genes that potentially affect DNA repair and recombination and stress responses were investigated in detail. Some proteins appear to have been horizontally transferred from eukaryotes and are not present in other bacteria. For example, three proteins homologous to plant desiccation resistance proteins were identified, and these are particularly interesting because of the correlation between desiccation and radiation resistance. Compared to other bacteria, the D. radiodurans genome is enriched in repetitive sequences, namely, IS-like transposons and small intergenic repeats. In combination, these observations suggest that several different biological mechanisms contribute to the multiple DNA repair-dependent phenotypes of this organism.
PMCID: PMC99018  PMID: 11238985
4.  Physiologic Determinants of Radiation Resistance in Deinococcus radiodurans 
Immense volumes of radioactive wastes, which were generated during nuclear weapons production, were disposed of directly in the ground during the Cold War, a period when national security priorities often surmounted concerns over the environment. The bacterium Deinococcus radiodurans is the most radiation-resistant organism known and is currently being engineered for remediation of the toxic metal and organic components of these environmental wastes. Understanding the biotic potential of D. radiodurans and its global physiological integrity in nutritionally restricted radioactive environments is important in development of this organism for in situ bioremediation. We have previously shown that D. radiodurans can grow on rich medium in the presence of continuous radiation (6,000 rads/h) without lethality. In this study we developed a chemically defined minimal medium that can be used to analyze growth of this organism in the presence and in the absence of continuous radiation; whereas cell growth was not affected in the absence of radiation, cells did not grow and were killed in the presence of continuous radiation. Under nutrient-limiting conditions, DNA repair was found to be limited by the metabolic capabilities of D. radiodurans and not by any nutritionally induced defect in genetic repair. The results of our growth studies and analysis of the complete D. radiodurans genomic sequence support the hypothesis that there are several defects in D. radiodurans global metabolic regulation that limit carbon, nitrogen, and DNA metabolism. We identified key nutritional constituents that restore growth of D. radiodurans in nutritionally limiting radioactive environments.
PMCID: PMC110589  PMID: 10831446

Results 1-4 (4)