A multicomponent enzyme-complex prevents efficient degradation of the plant cell wall for biorefinery. In this study, the method of identifying glycoside hydrolases (GHs) to degrade hemicelluloses was demonstrated. The competence of C. cellulovorans, which changes to be suitable for degradation of each carbon source, was used for the method. C. cellulovorans was cultivated into locust bean gum (LBG) that is composed of galactomannan. The proteins produced by C. cellulovorans were separated into either fractions binding to crystalline cellulose or not. Proteins obtained from each fraction were further separated by SDS-PAGE and were stained with Coomassie Brilliant Blue and were detected for mannanase activity. The proteins having the enzymatic activity for LBG were cut out and were identified by mass spectrometry. As a result, four protein bands were classified into glycosyl hydrolase family 26 (GH26) mannanases. One of the identified mannanases, Man26E, contains a carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) family 59, which binds to xylan, mannan, and Avicel. Although mannose and galactose are the same as a hexose, the expression patterns of the proteins from C. cellulovorans were quite different. More interestingly, zymogram for mannanase activity showed that Man26E was detected in only LBG medium.
Clostridium cellulovorans has been one of promising microorganisms to use biomass efficiently; however the basic metabolic pathways have not been completely known. We carried out 13C-isotopomer-based target metabolome analysis, or carbohydrate conversion process analysis, for more profound understanding of metabolic pathways of the bacterium. Our findings that pyruvate + oxaloacetate, fumarate, and malate inside and outside cells exhibited 13C incorporation suggest that C. cellulovorans exactly fixed CO2 and partly operated the TCA cycle in a reductive manner. Accompanied with CO2 fixation, the microorganism was also found to produce and secrete lactate. Overall, our study demonstrates that a part of C. cellulovorans metabolic pathways related to glycolysis and the TCA cycle are involved in CO2 fixation.
CO2 fixation; Clostridium cellulovorans; Target metabolomics
We performed a focused proteome analysis of cellulosomal proteins predicted by a genome analysis of Clostridium cellulovorans [Tamaru, Y., et al.. 2010. J. Bacteriol. 192:901–902]. Our system employed a long monolithic column (300 cm), which provides better performance and higher resolution than conventional systems. Twenty-three cellulosomal proteins were, without purification, identified by direct analysis of the culture medium. Proteome analysis of the C. cellulovorans cellulosome after culture in various carbon sources demonstrated the production of carbon source-adapted cellulosome components.
Clostridium cellulovorans; Cellulosome; Focused proteome analysis; Monolithic column
This study is the first to demonstrate the activity of putative cellulosomal protease/peptidase inhibitors (named cyspins) of Clostridium cellulovorans, using the Saccharomyces cerevisiae display system. Cyspins exhibited inhibitory activities against several representative plant proteases. This suggests that these inhibitors protect their microbe and cellulosome from external attack by plant proteases.
The Keap1-Nrf2 system serves as a defense mechanism against oxidative stress and electrophilic toxicants by inducing more than one hundred cytoprotective proteins, including antioxidants and phase 2 detoxifying enzymes. Since induction profiles of Nrf2 target genes have been studied exclusively in cultured cells, and not in animal models, their tissue-specificity has not been well characterized. In this paper, we examined and compared the tissue-specific expression of several Nrf2 target genes in zebrafish larvae by whole-mount in situ hybridization (WISH). Seven zebrafish genes (gstp1, mgst3b, prdx1, frrs1c, fthl, gclc and hmox1a) suitable for WISH analysis were selected from candidates for Nrf2 targets identified by microarray analysis. Tissue-restricted induction was observed in the nose, gill, and/or liver for all seven genes in response to Nrf2-activating compounds, diethylmaleate (DEM) and sulforaphane. The Nrf2 gene itself was dominantly expressed in these three tissues, implying that tissue-restricted induction of Nrf2 target genes is defined by tissue-specific expression of Nrf2. Interestingly, the induction of frrs1c and gclc in liver and nose, respectively, was quite low and that of hmox1a was restricted in the liver. These results indicate the existence of gene-specific variations in the tissue specificity, which can be controlled by factors other than Nrf2.
Crystallization of Nanos.
Nanos is a highly conserved RNA-binding protein in higher eukaryotes and acts as a key regulator protein involved in translational control utilizing the 3′ untranslated region of mRNA. The C-terminal domain of Nanos has two conserved and novel CCHC-type zinc-finger motifs that are responsible for the function of Nanos. To clarify the structural basis of the function of Nanos, the C-terminal domain (residues 59–159) of zebrafish Nanos was overexpressed, purified and crystallized. The crystal belonged to space group P63, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 100.9, c = 71.5 Å, γ = 120°. Structure determination by the MAD/SAD method is now in progress.
Nanos; zinc-finger domains; zebrafish
Clostridium cellulovorans, an anaerobic and mesophilic bacterium, degrades native substrates in soft biomass such as corn fibre and rice straw efficiently by producing an extracellular enzyme complex called the cellulosome. Recently, we have reported the whole‐genome sequence of C. cellulovorans comprising 4220 predicted genes in 5.10 Mbp [Y. Tamaru et al., (2010) J. Bacteriol., 192: 901–902]. As a result, the genome size of C. cellulovorans was about 1 Mbp larger than that of other cellulosome‐producing clostridia, mesophilic C. cellulolyticum and thermophilic C. thermocellum. A total of 57 cellulosomal genes were found in the C. cellulovorans genome, and they coded for not only carbohydrate‐degrading enzymes but also a lipase, peptidases and proteinase inhibitors. Interestingly, two novel genes encoding scaffolding proteins were found in the genome. According to KEGG metabolic pathways and their comparison with 11 Clostridial genomes, gene expansion in the C. cellulovorans genome indicated mainly non‐cellulosomal genes encoding hemicellulases and pectin‐degrading enzymes. Thus, by examining genome sequences from multiple Clostridium species, comparative genomics offers new insight into genome evolution and the way natural selection moulds functional DNA sequence evolution. Our analysis, coupled with the genome sequence data, provides a roadmap for constructing enhanced cellulosome‐producing Clostridium strains for industrial applications such as biofuel production.
Clostridium cellulovorans 743B was isolated from a wood chip pile and is an anaerobic and mesophilic spore-forming bacterium. This organism degrades native substrates in soft biomass such as corn fiber and rice straw efficiently by producing an extracellular enzyme complex called the cellulosome. Here we report the genome sequence of C. cellulovorans 743B.
The β-agarase C gene (agaC) of a marine bacterium, Vibrio sp. strain PO-303, consisted of 1,437 bp encoding 478 amino acid residues. β-Agarase C was identified as the first β-agarase that cannot hydrolyze neoagarooctaose and smaller neoagarooligosaccharides and was assigned to a novel glycoside hydrolase family.
The crude culture supernatants from Clostridium cellulovorans were tested for their ability to convert plant cells to protoplasts. The supernatants readily released protoplasts from cultured tobacco cells and Arabidopsis thaliana. The crude culture supernatant from pectin-grown cells was more active than supernatants from glucose-, cellobiose-, xylan-, and locust bean gum-grown cells. After removal of cellulosomes, the crude culture supernatant lost its protoplast formation activity. The protoplast formation activity of the crude culture supernatant from C. cellulovorans was more effective than those of commercial enzymes based on protein content.
A β-1,3-xylanase gene (txyA) from a marine bacterium, Alcaligenes sp. strain XY-234, has been cloned and sequenced. txyA consists of a 1,410-bp open reading frame that encodes 469 amino acid residues with a calculated molecular mass of 52,256 Da. The domain structure of the β-1,3-xylanase (TxyA) consists of a signal peptide of 22 amino acid residues, followed by a catalytic domain which belongs to family 26 of the glycosyl hydrolases, a linker region with one array of DGG and six repeats of DNGG, and a novel carbohydrate-binding module (CBM) at the C terminus. The recombinant TxyA hydrolyzed β-1,3-xylan but not other polysaccharides such as β-1,4-xylan, carboxymethylcellulose, curdlan, glucomannan, or β-1,4-mannan. TxyA was capable of binding specifically to β-1,3-xylan. The analysis using truncated TxyA lacking either the N- or C-terminal region indicated that the region encoding the CBM was located between residues 376 and 469. Binding studies on the CBM revealed that the Kd and the maximum amount of protein bound to β-1,3-xylan were 4.2 μM and 18.2 μmol/g of β-1,3-xylan, respectively. Furthermore, comparison of the enzymatic properties between proteins with and without the CBM strongly indicated that the CBM of TxyA plays an important role in the hydrolysis of β-1,3-xylan.
engE, coding for endoglucanase E, one of the three major subunits of the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome, has been cloned and sequenced (Y. Tamaru and R. H. Doi, J. Bacteriol. 181:3270-3276, 1999). The N-terminal-half region of EngE possesses three repeated surface layer homology (SLH) domains, which are homologous to those of some bacterial S-layer proteins. Also, the C-terminal-half region consists of a catalytic domain of glycosyl hydrolase family 5 and a duplicated sequence (dockerin) for binding EngE to scaffolding protein CbpA. Our hypothesis is that the SLH domains serve in the role of anchoring to the cell surface. This model was investigated by using recombinant EngEs (rEngE) with and without SLH domains that were synthesized in Escherichia coli and cell wall preparations from C. cellulovorans. When rEngE and SLH polypeptides of EngE were incubated with cell wall fragments prepared by sodium dodecyl sulfate treatment, these proteins bound strongly to the cell wall. However, rEngEs without SLH domains lost their ability to bind to cell walls. When rEngE was incubated with mini-CbpA, consisting of two cohesin domains, and cell wall fragments, the mini-CbpA was able to bind to the cell wall with rEngE. However, the binding of mini-CbpA was dramatically inhibited by addition of a chelating reagent, such as EDTA, which prevents cohesin-dockerin interactions. These results suggest not only that the SLH domains of EngE can bind to the cell surface but also that EngE plays an anchoring role for cellulosomes through the interaction of its dockerin domain with a CbpA cohesin.
In cellulosomes produced by Clostridium spp., the high-affinity interaction between the dockerin domain and the cohesin domain is responsible for the assembly of enzymatic subunits into the complex. Thus, heterologous expression of full-length enzymatic subunits containing the dockerin domains and of the scaffolding unit is essential for the in vitro assembly of a “designer” cellulosome, or a recombinant cellulosome with a specific function. We report the preparation of Clostridium cellulovorans recombinant cellulosomes containing the enzymatic subunit EngB and the scaffolding unit, mini-CbpA, containing a cellulose binding domain, a putative cell wall binding domain, and two cohesin units. The full-length EngB containing the dockerin domain was expressed by Bacillus subtilis WB800, which is deficient in eight extracellular proteases, to prevent the proteolytic cleavage of the enzymatic subunit between the catalytic and dockerin domains that was observed in previous attempts to express EngB with Escherichia coli. The assembly of recombinant EngB with the mini-CbpA was confirmed by immunostaining, a cellulose binding experiment, and native polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis.
A large gene cluster for the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome has been cloned and sequenced upstream and downstream of the cbpA and exgS genes (C.-C. Liu and R. H. Doi, Gene 211:39–47, 1998). Gene walking revealed that the engL gene cluster (Y. Tamaru and R. H. Doi, J. Bacteriol. 182:244–247, 2000) was located downstream of the cbpA-exgS genes. Further DNA sequencing revealed that this cluster contains the genes for the scaffolding protein CbpA, the exoglucanase ExgS, several endoglucanases of family 9, the mannanase ManA, and the hydrophobic protein HbpA containing a surface layer homology domain and a hydrophobic (or cohesin) domain. The sequence of the clustered genes is cbpA-exgS-engH-engK-hbpA-engL-manA-engM-engN and is about 22 kb in length. The engN gene did not have a complete catalytic domain, indicating that engN is a truncated gene. This large gene cluster is flanked at the 5′ end by a putative noncellulosomal operon consisting of nifV-orf1-sigX-regA and at the 3′ end by noncellulosomal genes with homology to transposase (trp) and malate permease (mle). Since gene clusters for the cellulosome are also found in C. cellulolyticum and C. josui, they seem to be typical of mesophilic clostridia, indicating that the large gene clusters may arise from a common ancestor with some evolutionary modifications.
A five-gene cluster around the gene in Clostridium cellulovorans that encodes endoglucanase EngL, which is involved in plant cell wall degradation, has been cloned and sequenced. As a result, a mannanase gene, manA, has been found downstream of engL. The manA gene consists of an open reading frame with 1,275 nucleotides encoding a protein with 425 amino acids and a molecular weight of 47,156. ManA has a signal peptide followed by a duplicated sequence (DS, or dockerin) at its N terminus and a catalytic domain which belongs to family 5 of the glycosyl hydrolases and shows high sequence similarity with fungal mannanases, such as Agaricus bisporus Cel4 (17.3% identity), Aspergillus aculeatus Man1 (23.7% identity), and Trichoderma reesei Man1 (22.7% identity). Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and N-terminal amino acid sequence analyses of the purified recombinant ManA (rManA) indicated that the N-terminal region of the rManA contained a DS and was truncated in Escherichia coli cells. Furthermore, Western blot analysis indicated that ManA is one of the cellulosomal subunits. ManA production is repressed by cellobiose.
The gene engE, coding for endoglucanase E, one of the three major subunits of the Clostridium cellulovorans cellulosome, has been isolated and sequenced. engE is comprised of an open reading frame (ORF) of 3,090 bp and encodes a protein of 1,030 amino acids with a molecular weight of 111,796. The amino acid sequence derived from engE revealed a structure consisting of catalytic and noncatalytic domains. The N-terminal-half region of EngE consisted of a signal peptide of 31 amino acid residues and three repeated surface layer homology (SLH) domains, which were highly conserved and homologous to an S-layer protein from the gram-negative bacterium Caulobacter crescentus. The C-terminal-half region, which is necessary for the enzymatic function of EngE and for binding of EngE to the scaffolding protein CbpA, consisted of a catalytic domain homologous to that of family 5 of the glycosyl hydrolases, a domain of unknown function, and a duplicated sequence (DS or dockerin) at its C terminus. engE is located downstream of an ORF, ORF1, that is homologous to the Bacillus subtilis phosphomethylpyrimidine kinase (pmk) gene. The unique presence of three SLH domains and a DS suggests that EngE is capable of binding both to CbpA to form a CbpA-EngE cellulosome complex and to the surface layer of C. cellulovorans.