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(1/200) Analysis of 4-phosphopantetheinylation of polyhydroxybutyrate synthase from Ralstonia eutropha: generation of beta-alanine auxotrophic Tn5 mutants and cloning of the panD gene region.

The postulated posttranslational modification of the polyhydroxybutyrate (PHA) synthase from Ralstonia eutropha by 4-phosphopantetheine was investigated. Four beta-alanine auxotrophic Tn5-induced mutants of R. eutropha HF39 were isolated, and two insertions were mapped in an open reading frame with strong similarity to the panD gene from Escherichia coli, encoding L-aspartate-1-decarboxylase (EC 4.1.1.15), whereas two other insertions were mapped in an open reading frame (ORF) with strong similarity to the NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase (EC 1.6.1.1) alpha 1 subunit, encoded by the pntAA gene from Escherichia coli. The panD gene was cloned by complementation of the panD mutant of R. eutropha Q20. DNA sequencing of the panD gene region (3,312 bp) revealed an ORF of 365 bp, encoding a protein with 63 and 67% amino acid sequence similarity to PanD from E. coli and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. Subcloning of only this ORF into vectors pBBR1MCS-3 and pBluescript KS- led to complementation of the panD mutants of R. eutropha and E. coli SJ16, respectively. panD-encoded L-aspartate-1-decarboxylase was further confirmed by an enzymatic assay. Upstream of panD, an ORF with strong similarity to pntAA from E. coli, encoding NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase subunit alpha 1 was found; downstream of panD, two ORFs with strong similarity to pntAB and pntB, encoding subunits alpha 2 and beta of the NAD(P)+ transhydrogenase, respectively, were identified. Thus, a hitherto undetermined organization of pan and pnt genes was found in R. eutropha. Labeling experiments using one of the R. eutropha panD mutants and [2-14C]beta-alanine provided no evidence that R. eutropha PHA synthase is covalently modified by posttranslational attachment of 4-phosphopantetheine, nor did the E. coli panD mutant exhibit detectable labeling of functional PHA synthase from R. eutropha.  (+info)

(2/200) 3-Hydroxylaminophenol mutase from Ralstonia eutropha JMP134 catalyzes a Bamberger rearrangement.

3-Hydroxylaminophenol mutase from Ralstonia eutropha JMP134 is involved in the degradative pathway of 3-nitrophenol, in which it catalyzes the conversion of 3-hydroxylaminophenol to aminohydroquinone. To show that the reaction was really catalyzed by a single enzyme without the release of intermediates, the corresponding protein was purified to apparent homogeneity from an extract of cells grown on 3-nitrophenol as the nitrogen source and succinate as the carbon and energy source. 3-Hydroxylaminophenol mutase appears to be a relatively hydrophobic but soluble and colorless protein consisting of a single 62-kDa polypeptide. The pI was determined to be at pH 4.5. In a database search, the NH2-terminal amino acid sequence of the undigested protein and of two internal sequences of 3-hydroxylaminophenol mutase were found to be most similar to those of glutamine synthetases from different species. Hydroxylaminobenzene, 4-hydroxylaminotoluene, and 2-chloro-5-hydroxylaminophenol, but not 4-hydroxylaminobenzoate, can also serve as substrates for the enzyme. The enzyme requires no oxygen or added cofactors for its reaction, which suggests an enzymatic mechanism analogous to the acid-catalyzed Bamberger rearrangement.  (+info)

(3/200) Metabolic engineering of poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates): from DNA to plastic.

Poly(3-hydroxyalkanoates) (PHAs) are a class of microbially produced polyesters that have potential applications as conventional plastics, specifically thermoplastic elastomers. A wealth of biological diversity in PHA formation exists, with at least 100 different PHA constituents and at least five different dedicated PHA biosynthetic pathways. This diversity, in combination with classical microbial physiology and modern molecular biology, has now opened up this area for genetic and metabolic engineering to develop optimal PHA-producing organisms. Commercial processes for PHA production were initially developed by W. R. Grace in the 1960s and later developed by Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., in the United Kingdom in the 1970s and 1980s. Since the early 1990s, Metabolix Inc. and Monsanto have been the driving forces behind the commercial exploitation of PHA polymers in the United States. The gram-negative bacterium Ralstonia eutropha, formerly known as Alcaligenes eutrophus, has generally been used as the production organism of choice, and intracellular accumulation of PHA of over 90% of the cell dry weight have been reported. The advent of molecular biological techniques and a developing environmental awareness initiated a renewed scientific interest in PHAs, and the biosynthetic machinery for PHA metabolism has been studied in great detail over the last two decades. Because the structure and monomeric composition of PHAs determine the applications for each type of polymer, a variety of polymers have been synthesized by cofeeding of various substrates or by metabolic engineering of the production organism. Classical microbiology and modern molecular bacterial physiology have been brought together to decipher the intricacies of PHA metabolism both for production purposes and for the unraveling of the natural role of PHAs. This review provides an overview of the different PHA biosynthetic systems and their genetic background, followed by a detailed summation of how this natural diversity is being used to develop commercially attractive, recombinant processes for the large-scale production of PHAs.  (+info)

(4/200) CDC group IV c-2: a new Ralstonia species close to Ralstonia eutropha.

CDC group IV c-2, an environmental gram-negative bacillus recently proposed for inclusion in the genus Ralstonia, has been isolated in several human infections. Biochemical characterization and 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequencing with phylogenetic analysis were used to characterize eight clinical isolates and four type strains. Other typing tools, such as pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis, were also used. PFGE typing of clinical isolates was unsuccessful because the DNA was degraded, and RAPD analysis was poorly discriminatory. In contrast, the type strains were clearly distinguished with both PFGE and RAPD analysis. All of the 16S rDNA sequences were identical. Comparison of the 16S rDNA sequences to the GenBank sequences showed that they were consistent with CDC group IV c-2 belonging to the genus Ralstonia. The closest matches were obtained with Ralstonia eutropha. However, four differences in 32 biochemical tests separated R. eutropha from CDC group IV c-2, which suggests that CDC group IV c-2 is a new species of the genus Ralstonia.  (+info)

(5/200) Chemoselective nitro group reduction and reductive dechlorination initiate degradation of 2-chloro-5-nitrophenol by Ralstonia eutropha JMP134.

Ralstonia eutropha JMP134 utilizes 2-chloro-5-nitrophenol as a sole source of nitrogen, carbon, and energy. The initial steps for degradation of 2-chloro-5-nitrophenol are analogous to those of 3-nitrophenol degradation in R. eutropha JMP134. 2-Chloro-5-nitrophenol is initially reduced to 2-chloro-5-hydroxylaminophenol, which is subject to an enzymatic Bamberger rearrangement yielding 2-amino-5-chlorohydroquinone. The chlorine of 2-amino-5-chlorohydroquinone is removed by a reductive mechanism, and aminohydroquinone is formed. 2-Chloro-5-nitrophenol and 3-nitrophenol induce the expression of 3-nitrophenol nitroreductase, of 3-hydroxylaminophenol mutase, and of the dechlorinating activity. 3-Nitrophenol nitroreductase catalyzes chemoselective reduction of aromatic nitro groups to hydroxylamino groups in the presence of NADPH. 3-Nitrophenol nitroreductase is active with a variety of mono-, di-, and trinitroaromatic compounds, demonstrating a relaxed substrate specificity of the enzyme. Nitrosobenzene serves as a substrate for the enzyme and is converted faster than nitrobenzene.  (+info)

(6/200) Earthworm egg capsules as vectors for the environmental introduction of biodegradative bacteria.

Earthworm egg capsules (cocoons) may acquire bacteria from the environment in which they are produced. We found that Ralstonia eutropha (pJP4) can be recovered from Eisenia fetida cocoons formed in soil inoculated with this bacterium. Plasmid pJP4 contains the genes necessary for 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) and 2, 4-dichlorophenol (2,4-DCP) degradation. In this study we determined that the presence of R. eutropha (pJP4) within the developing earthworm cocoon can influence the degradation and toxicity of 2,4-D and 2,4-DCP, respectively. The addition of cocoons containing R. eutropha (pJP4) at either low or high densities (10(2) or 10(5) CFU per cocoon, respectively) initiated degradation of 2,4-D in nonsterile soil microcosms. Loss of 2,4-D was observed within the first week of incubation, and respiking the soil with 2,4-D showed depletion within 24 h. Microbial analysis of the soil revealed the presence of approximately 10(4) CFU R. eutropha (pJP4) g-1 of soil. The toxicity of 2,4-DCP to developing earthworms was tested by using cocoons with or without R. eutropha (pJP4). Results showed that cocoons containing R. eutropha (pJP4) were able to tolerate higher levels of 2,4-DCP. Our results indicate that the biodegradation of 2, 4-DCP by R. eutropha (pJP4) within the cocoons may be the mechanism contributing to toxicity reduction. These results suggest that the microbiota may influence the survival of developing earthworms exposed to toxic chemicals. In addition, cocoons can be used as inoculants for the introduction into the environment of beneficial bacteria, such as strains with biodegradative capabilities.  (+info)

(7/200) A novel Sinorhizobium meliloti operon encodes an alpha-glucosidase and a periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent transport system for alpha-glucosides.

The most abundant carbon source transported into legume root nodules is photosynthetically produced sucrose, yet the importance of its metabolism by rhizobia in planta is not yet known. To identify genes involved in sucrose uptake and hydrolysis, we screened a Sinorhizobium meliloti genomic library and discovered a segment of S. meliloti DNA which allows Ralstonia eutropha to grow on the alpha-glucosides sucrose, maltose, and trehalose. Tn5 mutagenesis localized the required genes to a 6.8-kb region containing five open reading frames which were named agl, for alpha-glucoside utilization. Four of these (aglE, aglF, aglG, and aglK) appear to encode a periplasmic-binding-protein-dependent sugar transport system, and one (aglA) appears to encode an alpha-glucosidase with homology to family 13 of glycosyl hydrolases. Cosmid-borne agl genes permit uptake of radiolabeled sucrose into R. eutropha cells. Analysis of the properties of agl mutants suggests that S. meliloti possesses at least one additional alpha-glucosidase as well as a lower-affinity transport system for alpha-glucosides. It is possible that the Fix+ phenotype of agl mutants on alfalfa is due to these additional functions. Loci found by DNA sequencing to be adjacent to aglEFGAK include a probable regulatory gene (aglR), zwf and edd, which encode the first two enzymes of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway, pgl, which shows homology to a gene encoding a putative phosphogluconolactonase, and a novel Rhizobium-specific repeat element.  (+info)

(8/200) Mutational analysis of the cbb operon (CO2 assimilation) promoter of Ralstonia eutropha.

PL promoters direct the transcription of the duplicated cbb operons from the facultative chemoautotroph Ralstonia eutropha H16. The operons encode most enzymes of the Calvin-Benson-Bassham carbon reduction cycle required for CO2 assimilation. Their transcription depends on the activator protein CbbR. Structure-function relationships in the cloned chromosomal promoter region were analyzed by site-directed mutagenesis. PL was altered in its presumed hexameric -35 and/or -10 box or in the spacer region between the boxes to achieve a greater or lesser resemblance to the structure of the sigma70 consensus promoter of Escherichia coli. PL::lacZ transcriptional fusions of various promoter variants were assayed in transconjugant strains of R. eutropha as well as in corresponding cbbR deletion mutants. Mutations increasing the similarity of the -35 and/or -10 box to the consensus sequence stimulated PL activity to various extents, whereas mutations deviating from the consensus decreased the activity. The length of the spacer region also proved to be critical. The conversion of the boxes, either individually or simultaneously, into the consensus sequences resulted in a highly active PL. All improved PL mutants, however, retained the activation under inducing or derepressing growth conditions, although the full-consensus promoter was nearly constitutive. They were also activated in the cbbR mutants. The activity of the overlapping, divergently oriented cbbR promoter was less affected by the mutations. The half- and full-consensus PL mutants were comparably active in E. coli. Two major conclusions were drawn from the results: (i) the location and function of PL were verified, and (ii) indirect evidence was obtained for the involvement of another regulator(s), besides CbbR, in the transcriptional control of the R. eutropha cbb operons.  (+info)