Genetic identification of three ABC transporters as essential elements for nitrate respiration in Haloferax volcanii.
More than 40 nitrate respiration-deficient mutants of Haloferax volcanii belonging to three different phenotypic classes were isolated. All 15 mutants of the null phenotype were complemented with a genomic library of the wild type. Wild-type copies of mutated genes were recovered from complemented mutants using two different approaches. The DNA sequences of 13 isolated fragments were determined. Five fragments were found to overlap; therefore nine different genomic regions containing genes essential for nitrate respiration could be identified. Three genomic regions containing genes coding for subunits of ABC transporters were further characterized. In two cases, genes coding for an ATP-binding subunit and a permease subunit were clustered and overlapped by four nucleotides. The third gene for a permease subunit had no additional ABC transporter gene in proximity. One ABC transporter was found to be glucose specific. The mutant reveals that the ABC transporter solely mediates anaerobic glucose transport. Based on sequence similarity, the second ABC transporter is proposed to be molybdate specific, explaining its essential role in nitrate respiration. The third ABC transporter is proposed to be anion specific. Genome sequencing has shown that ABC transporters are widespread in Archaea. Nevertheless, this study represents only the second example of a functional characterization. (+info)
Halophilic 20S proteasomes of the archaeon Haloferax volcanii: purification, characterization, and gene sequence analysis.
A 20S proteasome, composed of alpha(1) and beta subunits arranged in a barrel-shaped structure of four stacked rings, was purified from a halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii. The predominant peptide-hydrolyzing activity of the 600-kDa alpha(1)beta-proteasome on synthetic substrates was cleavage carboxyl to hydrophobic residues (chymotrypsin-like [CL] activity) and was optimal at 2 M NaCl, pH 7.7 to 9.5, and 75 degrees C. The alpha(1)beta-proteasome also hydrolyzed insulin B-chain protein. Removal of NaCl inactivated the CL activity of the alpha(1)beta-proteasome and dissociated the complex into monomers. Rapid equilibration of the monomers into buffer containing 2 M NaCl facilitated their reassociation into fully active alpha(1)beta-proteasomes of 600 kDa. However, long-term incubation of the halophilic proteasome in the absence of salt resulted in hydrolysis and irreversible inactivation of the enzyme. Thus, the isolated proteasome has unusual salt requirements which distinguish it from any proteasome which has been described. Comparison of the beta-subunit protein sequence with the sequence deduced from the gene revealed that a 49-residue propeptide is removed to expose a highly conserved N-terminal threonine which is proposed to serve as the catalytic nucleophile and primary proton acceptor during peptide bond hydrolysis. Consistent with this mechanism, the known proteasome inhibitors carbobenzoxyl-leucinyl-leucinyl-leucinal-H (MG132) and N-acetyl-leucinyl-leucinyl-norleucinal (calpain inhibitor I) were found to inhibit the CL activity of the H. volcanii proteasome (K(i) = 0.2 and 8 microM, respectively). In addition to the genes encoding the alpha(1) and beta subunits, a gene encoding a second alpha-type proteasome protein (alpha(2)) was identified. All three genes coding for the proteasome subunits were mapped in the chromosome and found to be unlinked. Modification of the methods used to purify the alpha(1)beta-proteasome resulted in the copurification of the alpha(2) protein with the alpha(1) and beta subunits in nonstoichometric ratios as cylindrical particles of four stacked rings of 600 kDa with CL activity rates similar to the alpha(1)beta-proteasome, suggesting that at least two separate 20S proteasomes are synthesized. This study is the first description of a prokaryote which produces two separate 20S proteasomes and suggests that there may be distinct physiological roles for the two different alpha subunits in this halophilic archaeon. (+info)
Detection of DNA damage in prokaryotes by terminal deoxyribonucleotide transferase-mediated dUTP nick end labeling.
Numerous agents can damage the DNA of prokaryotes in the environment (e.g., reactive oxygen species, irradiation, and secondary metabolites such as antibiotics, enzymes, starvation, etc.). The large number of potential DNA-damaging agents, as well as their diverse modes of action, precludes a simple test of DNA damage based on detection of nucleic acid breakdown products. In this study, free 3'-OH DNA ends, produced by either direct damage or excision DNA repair, were used to assess DNA damage. Terminal deoxyribonucleotide transferase (TdT)-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) is a procedure in which 3'-OH DNA ends are enzymatically labeled with dUTP-fluorescein isothiocyanate using TdT. Cells labeled by this method can be detected using fluorescence microscopy or flow cytometry. TUNEL was used to measure hydrogen peroxide-induced DNA damage in the archaeon Haloferax volcanii and the bacterium Escherichia coli. DNA repair systems were implicated in the hydrogen peroxide-dependent generation of 3'-OH DNA ends by the finding that the protein synthesis inhibitors chloramphenicol and diphtheria toxin blocked TUNEL labeling of E. coli and H. volcanii, respectively. DNA damage induced by UV light and bacteriophage infection was also measured using TUNEL. This methodology should be useful in applications where DNA damage and repair are of interest, including mutant screening and monitoring of DNA damage in the environment. (+info)
Molecular cloning of A1-ATPase gene from extremely halophilic archaeon Haloarcula japonica strain TR-1.
The genes encoding A1-ATPase A- and B-subunits were cloned from Haloarcula japonica strain TR-1. Nucleotide sequencing analysis of the A1-ATPase gene revealed that the A- and B-subunits consisted of 586 and 473 amino acids, respectively. The deduced amino acid sequences of the A- and B-subunits of Ha. japonica showed high identities with those of Halobacterium salinarum and Haloferax volcanii. The consensus ATP-binding motif was found in the A-subunit. (+info)
Evidence for post-translational membrane insertion of the integral membrane protein bacterioopsin expressed in the heterologous halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii.
The gene coding for the integral membrane protein bacterioopsin (Bop), that is composed of seven transmembrane helices, was expressed in the halophilic archaeon Haloferax volcanii as a fusion protein with the halobacterial enzyme dihydrofolate reductase and with the cellulose binding domain of Clostridium thermocellum cellulosome. In each case, bacterioopsin was present both in the membrane and in the cytoplasmic fractions. Pulse-chase labeling experiments showed that the fusion protein in the cytoplasmic fraction is the precursor of the membrane-bound species. Bacterioopsin mutants that lack the seventh helix (BopDelta7) were found to accumulate only in the cytoplasmic fraction, whereas bacterioopsin mutants that lack either helices four and five (BopDelta4-5), or helices one and two (BopDelta1-2), were found in the cytoplasmic as well as in the membrane fractions. The seventh helix, when expressed alone, could target in trans the insertion of a separately expressed bacterioopsin mutant protein that has only the first six helices. These results support a model in which bacterioopsin is produced in H. volcanii as a soluble protein and in which its insertion into the membrane occurs post-translationally. According to this model, membrane insertion is directed by the seventh helix. (+info)
Identities and phylogenetic comparisons of posttranscriptional modifications in 16 S ribosomal RNA from Haloferax volcanii.
Small subunit (16 S) rRNA from the archaeon Haloferax volcanii, for which sites of modification were previously reported, was examined using mass spectrometry. A census of all modified residues was taken by liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry analysis of a total nucleoside digest of the rRNA. Following rRNA hydrolysis by RNase T(1), accurate molecular mass values of oligonucleotide products were measured using liquid chromatography/electrospray ionization-mass spectrometry and compared with values predicted from the corresponding gene sequence. Three modified nucleosides, distributed over four conserved sites in the decoding region of the molecule, were characterized: 3-(3-amino-3-carboxypropyl)uridine-966, N(6)-methyladenosine-1501, and N(6),N(6)-dimethyladenosine-1518 and -1519 (all Escherichia coli numbering). Nucleoside 3-(3-amino-3-carboxypropyl)uridine, previously unknown in rRNA, occurs at a highly conserved site of modification in all three evolutionary domains but for which no structural assignment in archaea has been previously reported. Nucleoside N(6)-methyladenosine, not previously placed in archaeal rRNAs, frequently occurs at the analogous location in eukaryotic small subunit rRNA but not in bacteria. H. volcanii small subunit rRNA appears to reflect the phenotypically low modification level in the Crenarchaeota kingdom and is the only cytoplasmic small subunit rRNA shown to lack pseudouridine. (+info)
Junction phosphate is derived from the precursor in the tRNA spliced by the archaeon Haloferax volcanii cell extract.
RNA splicing in archaea requires at least an endonuclease and a ligase, as is the case for the splicing of eukaryal nuclear tRNAs. Splicing endonucleases from archaea and eukarya are homologous, although they differ in subunit composition and substrate recognition properties. However, they all produce 2',3' cyclic phosphate and 5'-hydroxyl termini. An in vitro-transcribed, partial intron-deleted Haloferax volcanii elongator tRNA(Met) has been used to study splicing by H. volcanii cell extracts. Substrates and products were analyzed by nearest neighbor analyses using nuclease P1 and RNase T2, and fingerprinting analyses using acid-urea gels in the first dimension and gradient thin layer chromatography in the second dimension. The results suggest that 2',3' cyclic phosphate at the 3' end of the 5' exon is converted into the splice junction phosphate forming a 3',5'-phosphodiester linkage. This resembles the animal cell type systems where the junction phosphate preexists in the transcript, and differs from yeast type systems, where GTP is the source of junction phosphate. (+info)
Importance of the anticodon sequence in the aminoacylation of tRNAs by methionyl-tRNA synthetase and by valyl-tRNA synthetase in an Archaebacterium.
The mode of recognition of tRNAs by aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and translation factors is largely unknown in archaebacteria. To study this process, we have cloned the wild type initiator tRNA gene from the moderate halophilic archaebacterium Haloferax volcanii and mutants derived from it into a plasmid capable of expressing the tRNA in these cells. Analysis of tRNAs in vivo show that the initiator tRNA is aminoacylated but is not formylated in H. volcanii. This result provides direct support for the notion that protein synthesis in archaebacteria is initiated with methionine and not with formylmethionine. We have analyzed the effect of two different mutations (CAU-->CUA and CAU-->GAC) in the anticodon sequence of the initiator tRNA on its recognition by the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases in vivo. The CAU-->CUA mutant was not aminoacylated to any significant extent in vivo, suggesting the importance of the anticodon in aminoacylation of tRNA by methionyl-tRNA synthetase. This mutant initiator tRNA can, however, be aminoacylated in vitro by the Escherichia coli glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase, suggesting that the lack of aminoacylation is due to the absence in H. volcanii of a synthetase, which recognizes the mutant tRNA. Archaebacteria lack glutaminyl-tRNA synthetase and utilize a two-step pathway involving glutamyl-tRNA synthetase and glutamine amidotransferase to generate glutaminyl-tRNA. The lack of aminoacylation of the mutant tRNA indicates that this mutant tRNA is not a substrate for the H. volcanii glutamyl-tRNA synthetase. The CAU-->GAC anticodon mutant is most likely aminoacylated with valine in vivo. Thus, the anticodon plays an important role in the recognition of tRNA by at least two of the halobacterial aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases. (+info)