A novel plasmid recombination mechanism of the marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC7002. (1/3405)

We describe a novel mechanism of site-specific recombination in the unicellular marine cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. PCC7002. The specific recombination sites on the smallest plasmid pAQ1 were localized by studying the properties of pAQ1-derived shuttle-vectors. We found that a palindromic element, the core sequence of which is G(G/A)CGATCGCC, functions as a resolution site for site-specific plasmid recombination. Furthermore, site-directed mutagenesis analysis of the element show that the site-specific recombination in the cyanobacterium requires sequence specificity, symmetry in the core sequence and, in part, the spacing between the elements. Interestingly, this element is over-represented not only in pAQ1 and in the genome of the cyanobacterium, but also in the accumulated cyanobacterial sequences from Synechococcus sp. PCC6301, PCC7942, vulcanus and Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 within GenBank and EMBL databases. Thus, these findings strongly suggest that the site-specific recombination mechanism based on the palindromic element should be common in these cyanobacteria.  (+info)

Unusual ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase of anoxic Archaea. (2/3405)

The predominant pool of organic matter on earth is derived from the biological reduction and assimilation of carbon dioxide gas, catalyzed primarily by the enzyme ribulose 1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). By virtue of its capacity to use molecular oxygen as an alternative and competing gaseous substrate, the catalytic efficiency of RubisCO and the enzyme's ability to assimilate CO2 may be severely limited, with consequent environmental and agricultural effects. Recent genomic sequencing projects, however, have identified putative RubisCO genes from anoxic Archaea. In the present study, these potential RubisCO sequences, from Methanococcus jannaschii and Archaeoglobus fulgidus, were analyzed in order to ascertain whether such sequences might encode functional proteins. We also report the isolation and properties of recombinant RubisCO using sequences obtained from the obligately anaerobic hyperthermophilic methanogen M. jannaschii. This is the first description of an archaeal RubisCO sequence; this study also represents the initial characterization of a RubisCO molecule that has evolved in the absence of molecular oxygen. The enzyme was shown to be a homodimer whose deduced sequence, along with other recently obtained archaeal RubisCO sequences, differs substantially from those of known RubisCO molecules. The recombinant M. jannaschii enzyme has a somewhat low, but reasonable kcat, however, unlike previously isolated RubisCO molecules, this enzyme is very oxygen sensitive yet it is stable to hyperthermal temperatures and catalyzes the formation of the expected carboxylation product. Despite inhibition by oxygen, this unusual RubisCO still catalyzes a weak yet demonstrable oxygenase activity, with perhaps the lowest capacity for CO2/O2 discrimination ever encountered for any RubisCO.  (+info)

In situ identification of cyanobacteria with horseradish peroxidase-labeled, rRNA-targeted oligonucleotide probes. (3/3405)

Individual cyanobacterial cells are normally identified in environmental samples only on the basis of their pigmentation and morphology. However, these criteria are often insufficient for the differentiation of species. Here, a whole-cell hybridization technique is presented that uses horseradish peroxidase (HRP)-labeled, rRNA-targeted oligonucleotides for in situ identification of cyanobacteria. This indirect method, in which the probe-conferred enzyme has to be visualized in an additional step, was necessary since fluorescently monolabeled oligonucleotides were insufficient to overstain the autofluorescence of the target cells. Initially, a nonfluorescent detection assay was developed and successfully applied to cyanobacterial mats. Later, it was demonstrated that tyramide signal amplification (TSA) resulted in fluorescent signals far above the level of autofluorescence. Furthermore, TSA-based detection of HRP was more sensitive than that based on nonfluorescent substrates. Critical points of the assay, such as cell fixation and permeabilization, specificity, and sensitivity, were systematically investigated by using four oligonucleotides newly designed to target groups of cyanobacteria.  (+info)

Synechocystis sp. slr0787 protein is a novel bifunctional enzyme endowed with both nicotinamide mononucleotide adenylyltransferase and 'Nudix' hydrolase activities. (4/3405)

Synechocystis sp. slr0787 open reading frame encodes a 339 residue polypeptide with a predicted molecular mass of 38.5 kDa. Its deduced amino acid sequence shows extensive homology with known separate sequences of proteins from the thermophilic archaeon Methanococcus jannaschii. The N-terminal domain is highly homologous to the archaeal NMN adenylyltransferase, which catalyzes NAD synthesis from NMN and ATP. The C-terminal domain shares homology with the archaeal ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase, a member of the 'Nudix' hydrolase family. The slr0787 gene has been cloned into a T7-based vector for expression in Escherichia coli cells. The recombinant protein has been purified to homogeneity and demonstrated to possess both NMN adenylyltransferase and ADP-ribose pyrophosphatase activities. Both activities have been characterized and compared to their archaeal counterparts.  (+info)

Balanced regulation of expression of the gene for cytochrome cM and that of genes for plastocyanin and cytochrome c6 in Synechocystis. (5/3405)

The cytM gene for cytochrome cM was previously found in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. Northern blotting analysis revealed that the cytM gene was scarcely expressed under normal growth conditions but its expression was enhanced when cells were exposed to low temperature or high-intensity light. By contrast, the expression of the genes for cytochrome c6 and plastocyanin was suppressed at low temperature or under high-intensity light. These observations suggest that plastocyanin and/or cytochrome c6, which are dominant under non-stressed conditions, are replaced by cytochrome cM under the stress conditions.  (+info)

Physical interactions among circadian clock proteins KaiA, KaiB and KaiC in cyanobacteria. (6/3405)

The kai gene cluster, which is composed of three genes, kaiA, kaiB and kaiC, is essential for the generation of circadian rhythms in the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechococcus sp. strain PCC 7942. Here we demonstrate the direct association of KaiA, KaiB and KaiC in yeast cells using the two-hybrid system, in vitro and in cyanobacterial cells. KaiC enhanced KaiA-KaiB interaction in vitro and in yeast cells, suggesting that the three Kai proteins were able to form a heteromultimeric complex. We also found that a long period mutation kaiA1 dramatically enhanced KaiA-KaiB interaction in vitro. Thus, direct protein-protein association among the Kai proteins may be a critical process in the generation of circadian rhythms in cyanobacteria.  (+info)

Photosystem I, an improved model of the stromal subunits PsaC, PsaD, and PsaE. (7/3405)

An improved electron density map of photosystem I (PSI) calculated at 4-A resolution yields a more detailed structural model of the stromal subunits PsaC, PsaD, and PsaE than previously reported. The NMR structure of the subunit PsaE of PSI from Synechococcus sp. PCC7002 (Falzone, C. J., Kao, Y.-H., Zhao, J., Bryant, D. A., and Lecomte, J. T. J. (1994) Biochemistry 33, 6052-6062) has been used as a model to interpret the region of the electron density map corresponding to this subunit. The spatial orientation with respect to other subunits is described as well as the possible interactions between the stromal subunits. A first model of PsaD consisting of a four-stranded beta-sheet and an alpha-helix is suggested, indicating that this subunit partly shields PsaC from the stromal side. In addition to the improvements on the stromal subunits, the structural model of the membrane-integral region of PSI is also extended. The current electron density map allows the identification of the N and C termini of the subunits PsaA and PsaB. The 11-transmembrane alpha-helices of these subunits can now be assigned uniquely to the hydrophobic segments identified by hydrophobicity analyses.  (+info)

Localization of two phylloquinones, QK and QK', in an improved electron density map of photosystem I at 4-A resolution. (8/3405)

An improved electron density map of photosystem I from Synechococcus elongatus calculated at 4-A resolution for the first time reveals a second phylloquinone molecule and thereby completes the set of cofactors constituting the electron transfer system of this iron-sulfur type photosynthetic reaction center: six chlorophyll a, two phylloquinones, and three Fe4S4 clusters. The location of the newly identified phylloquinone pair, the individual plane orientations of these molecules, and the resulting distances to other cofactors of the electron transfer system are discussed and compared with those determined by magnetic resonance techniques.  (+info)