We modified GntR regulation in Bacillus subtilis to devise transient induction systems. GntR is the repressor antagonized by gluconate to induce transcription of the gntRKPZ operon for gluconate catabolism. On the other hand, the gnt operon is repressed by glucose via carbon catabolite repression involving CcpA/P-ser-HPr, which binds to two cre sites: one located in the gnt promoter region and the other within the gntR coding region. We initiated gntKPZ encoding of enzymes for gluconate catabolism expressed independently from the operon; this allowed constitutive degradation of gluconate. Both cre sites were mutated to abolish catabolite repression. The mutated gnt promoter was set up to drive the expression of the lacZ reporter under the control of GntR. Even in the presence of glucose, lacZ was induced upon the addition of gluconate and shut down again as gluconate was consumed. Thus, modified GntR regulation enables artificial transient induction. This will allow us to design a flexible metabolic engineering system with genes expressed only temporarily as desired.
Bacteria utilize varying combinations of two-component regulatory systems, many of which respond and adapt closely to stress conditions, thus expanding their niche steadily. While mechanisms of recognition and avoidance of the specific Fe3+ signal by the PmrA/PmrB system is well understood, those of the CpxR/CpxA system are more complex because they can be induced by various stress conditions, which, in turn, expresses a variety of phenotypes. Here, we highlight another aspect of the CpxR/CpxA system; mutations in degP and yqjA genes, which are under the control of the system, exhibit an iron sensitive phenotype in the mutant background defective in the PmrA-dependent gene products that alter the pyrophosphate status of the lipid A moiety of lipopolysaccharide in Salmonella enterica. Therefore, after the PmrA/PmrB-mediated Fe3+-dependent control of the pyrophosphate status on the cell surface, the CpxR/CpxA system is one of the second layers of envelope stress response that allows adaptation to high Fe3+ conditions in this bacterium.
It has been argued for a long time whether alkaline phosphatase (ALP) is involved in polyphosphate (polyP) metabolism in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. In the present study, we have analyzed the effects of disrupting the PHO8 gene, which encodes phosphate (Pi)-deficiency-inducible ALP, on the polyP contents of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. The polyP content of the Δpho8 mutant was higher than the wild type strain in the logarithmic phase under Pi-sufficient conditions. On the contrary, the chain length of polyP extracted from the Δpho8 mutant did not differ from the wild type strain. When cells in Pi-deficient conditions were supplemented with Pi, the increase of the polyP amounts in the Δpho8 mutant was similar to that in the wild type strain. These results suggest that ALP, which is encoded by PHO8, affects the polyP content, but not the chain length, and participates in polyP homeostasis in Pi-sufficient conditions.
The biodegradation of three polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), phenanthrene, fluorene, and pyrene, by a newly isolated thermotolerant white rot fungal strain RYNF13 from Thailand, was investigated. The strain RYNF13 was identified as Trametes polyzona, based on an analysis of its internal transcribed spacer sequence. The strain RYNF13 was superior to most white rot fungi. The fungus showed excellent removal of PAHs at a high concentration of 100 mg·L–1. Complete degradation of phenanthrene in a mineral salt glucose medium culture was observed within 18 days of incubation at 30°C, whereas 90% of fluorene and 52% of pyrene were degraded under the same conditions. At a high temperature of 42°C, the strain RYNF13 was still able to grow, and degraded approximately 68% of phenanthrene, whereas 48% of fluorene and 30% of pyrene were degraded within 32 days. Thus, the strain RYNF13 is a potential fungus for PAH bioremediation, especially in a tropical environment where the temperature can be higher than 40°C. The strain RYNF13 secreted three different ligninolytic enzymes, manganese peroxidase, laccase, and lignin peroxidase, during PAH biodegradation at 30°C. When the incubation temperature was increased from 30°C to 37°C and 42°C, only two ligninolytic enzymes, manganese peroxidase and laccase, were detectable during the biodegradation. Manganese peroxidase was the major enzyme produced by the fungus. In the culture containing phenanthrene, manganese peroxidase showed the highest enzymatic activity at 179 U·mL–1. T. polyzona RYNF13 was determined as a potential thermotolerant white rot fungus, and suitable for application in the treatment of PAH-containing contaminants.
Two thermophilic bacterial strains, Bacillus thermoamylovorans NB501 and NB502, were isolated from a high-temperature aerobic fermentation reactor system that processes tofu refuse (okara) in the presence of used soybean oil. We cloned a lipase gene from strain NB501, which secretes a thermophilic lipase. The biochemical characteristics of the recombinant enzyme (Lip501r) were elucidated. Lip501r is monomeric in solution with an apparent molecular mass of 38 kDa on SDS-PAGE. The optimal pH and apparent optimal temperature of Lip501r were 8 and 60°C, respectively. Supplementation of 5 mM Ca2+ enhanced the thermostability, and the enzyme retained 56% of its activity for 30 min at 50°C. Lip501r was active on a wide range of substrates with different lengths of p-nitrophenyl (pNP) esters, and showed a remarkably higher activity with pNP-myristate. The Km and Vmax values for pNP-butyrate in the presence of 5 mM CaCl2 were 1.8 mM and 220 units/mg, respectively. The possible industrial use of the thermophilic lipase in modifying edible oil was explored by examining the degradation of soybean oil. A TLC analysis of the degraded products indicated that Lip501r is an 1,3-position specific lipase. A homology modeling study revealed that helix α6 in the lid domain of NB501 lipase was shorter than that of lipases from the Geobacillus group.