Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) (Archaea)
Archaea provides rapid peer review and publication of articles dealing with any aspect of research on the Archaea, including, biotechnology, environmental adaptation, enzymology, genetics, metabolism, molecular biology, phylogeny, and ultrastructure.
- WebsiteArchaea website
Other titlesArchaea (Online)
Material typeDocument, Periodical, Internet resource
Document typeInternet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper
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Publications in this journal
Article: Classification and regression tree (CART) analyses of genomic signatures reveal sets of tetramers that discriminate temperature optima of archaea and bacteria.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Classification and regression tree (CART) analysis was applied to genome-wide tetranucleotide frequencies (genomic signatures) of 195 archaea and bacteria. Although genomic signatures have typically been used to classify evolutionary divergence, in this study, convergent evolution was the focus. Temperature optima for most of the organisms examined could be distinguished by CART analyses of tetranucleotide frequencies. This suggests that pervasive (nonlinear) qualities of genomes may reflect certain environmental conditions (such as temperature) in which those genomes evolved. The predominant use of GAGA and AGGA as the discriminating tetramers in CART models suggests that purine-loading and codon biases of thermophiles may explain some of the results.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 01/2009; 2(3):159-67.
Article: Recombinant production and biochemical characterization of a hyperthermostable alpha-glucan/maltodextrin phosphorylase from Pyrococcus furiosus.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Alpha-glucan phosphorylase catalyzes the reversible cleavage of alpha-1-4-linked glucose polymers into alpha-D-glucose-1-phosphate. We report the recombinant production of an alpha-glucan/maltodextrin phosphorylase (PF1535) from a hyperthermophilic archaeon, Pyrococcus furiosus, and the first detailed biochemical characterization of this enzyme from any archaeal source using a mass-spectrometry-based assay. The apparent 98 kDa recombinant enzyme was active over a broad range of temperatures and pH, with optimal activity at 80 degrees C and pH 6.5-7. This archaeal protein retained its complete activity after 24 h at 80 degrees C in Tris-HCl buffer. Unlike other previously reported phosphorylases, the Ni-affinity column purified enzyme showed broad substrate specificity in both the synthesis and degradation of maltooligosaccharides. In the synthetic direction of the enzymatic reaction, the lowest oligosaccharide required for the chain elongation was maltose. In the degradative direction, the archaeal enzyme can produce glucose-1-phosphate from maltotriose or longer maltooligosaccharides including both glycogen and starch. The specific activity of the enzyme at 80 degrees C in the presence of 10 mM maltoheptaose and at 10 mg ml(-1) glycogen concentration was 52 U mg(-1) and 31 U mg(-1), respectively. The apparent Michaelis constant and maximum velocity for inorganic phosphate were 31 +/- 2 mM and 0.60 +/- 0.02 mM min(-1) microg(-1), respectively. An initial velocity study of the enzymatic reaction indicated a sequential bi-bi catalytic mechanism. Unlike the more widely studied mammalian glycogen phosphorylase, the Pyrococcus enzyme is active in the absence of added AMP.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 01/2009; 2(3):169-76.
Article: New methods for tightly regulated gene expression and highly efficient chromosomal integration of cloned genes for Methanosarcina species.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A highly efficient method for chromosomal integration of cloned DNA into Methanosarcina spp. was developed utilizing the site-specific recombination system from the Streptomyces phage phiC31. Host strains expressing the phiC31 integrase gene and carrying an appropriate recombination site can be transformed with non-replicating plasmids carrying the complementary recombination site at efficiencies similar to those obtained with self-replicating vectors. We have also constructed a series of hybrid promoters that combine the highly expressed M. barkeri PmcrB promoter with binding sites for the tetracycline-responsive, bacterial TetR protein. These promoters are tightly regulated by the presence or absence of tetracycline in strains that express the tetR gene. The hybrid promoters can be used in genetic experiments to test gene essentiality by placing a gene of interest under their control. Thus, growth of strains with tetR-regulated essential genes becomes tetracycline-dependent. A series of plasmid vectors that utilize the site-specific recombination system for construction of reporter gene fusions and for tetracycline regulated expression of cloned genes are reported. These vectors were used to test the efficiency of translation at a variety of start codons. Fusions using an ATG start site were the most active, whereas those using GTG and TTG were approximately one half or one fourth as active, respectively. The CTG fusion was 95% less active than the ATG fusion.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 01/2009; 2(3):193-203.
Article: Molybdate treatment and sulfate starvation decrease ATP and DNA levels in Ferroplasma acidarmanu.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Sulfate is a primary source of sulfur for most microbes and in some prokaryotes it is used an electron acceptor. The acidophile Ferroplasma acidarmanus (strain fer1) requires a minimum of 150 mM of a sulfate-containing salt for growth. Sulfate is assimilated by F. acidarmanus into proteins and reduced to form the volatile organic sulfur compounds methanethiol and dimethyldisulfide. In the absence of sulfate, cell death occurs by an unknown mechanism. In this study, cell viability and genomic DNA and ATP contents of F. acidarmanus were monitored in response to the absence of sulfate or the presence of sulfate and the sulfate analog molybdate (MoO(4) (2-)). Cellular DNA and ATP contents were monitored as markers of cell viability. The absence of sulfate led to a decrease in viable cell numbers of greater than 7 log(10 )within 5 days, a > 99% reduction in genomic DNA within 3 days, and a > 60% decrease in ATP within 6 h. Likewise, cells incubated with MoO(4) (2-) lost viability (decreased by > 2 log(10) in 5 days), extractable genomic DNA (reduction of > 60% in 2 days), and ATP (reduction of > 70 % in 2 hours). These results demonstrate that sulfate deprivation or the presence of molybdate have similar impacts on cell viability and essential biomolecules. Sulfate was coupled to cellular ATP content and maintenance of DNA integrity in F. acidarmanus, a finding that may be applicable to other acidophiles that are typically found in sulfate-rich biotopes.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 01/2009; 2(3):205-9.
Article: Widespread distribution of archaeal reverse gyrase in thermophilic bacteria suggests a complex history of vertical inheritance and lateral gene transfers.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Reverse gyrase, an enzyme of uncertain funtion, is present in all hyperthermophilic archaea and bacteria. Previous phylogenetic studies have suggested that the gene for reverse gyrase has an archaeal origin and was transferred laterally (LGT) to the ancestors of the two bacterial hyperthermophilic phyla, Thermotogales and Aquificales. Here, we performed an in-depth analysis of the evolutionary history of reverse gyrase in light of genomic progress. We found genes coding for reverse gyrase in the genomes of several thermophilic bacteria that belong to phyla other than Aquificales and Thermotogales. Several of these bacteria are not, strictly speaking, hyperthermophiles because their reported optimal growth temperatures are below 80 degrees C. Furthermore, we detected a reverse gyrase gene in the sequence of the large plasmid of Thermus thermophilus strain HB8, suggesting a possible mechanism of transfer to the T. thermophilus strain HB8 involving plasmids and transposases. The archaeal part of the reverse gyrase tree is congruent with recent phylogenies of the archaeal domain based on ribosomal proteins or RNA polymerase subunits. Although poorly resolved, the complete reverse gyrase phylogeny suggests an ancient acquisition of the gene by bacteria via one or two LGT events, followed by its secondary distribution by LGT within bacteria. Finally, several genes of archaeal origin located in proximity to the reverse gyrase gene in bacterial genomes have bacterial homologues mostly in thermophiles or hyperthermophiles, raising the possibility that they were co-transferred with the reverse gyrase gene. Our new analysis of the reverse gyrase history strengthens the hypothesis that the acquisition of reverse gyrase may have been a crucial evolutionary step in the adaptation of bacteria to high-temperature environments. However, it also questions the role of this enzyme in thermophilic bacteria and the selective advantage its presence could provide.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 06/2007; 2(2):83-93.
Article: AMP-forming acetyl-CoA synthetases in Archaea show unexpected diversity in substrate utilization.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Adenosine monophosphate (AMP)-forming acetyl-CoA synthetase (ACS; acetate:CoA ligase (AMP-forming), EC 188.8.131.52) is a key enzyme for conversion of acetate to acetyl-CoA, an essential intermediate at the junction of anabolic and catabolic pathways. Phylogenetic analysis of putative short and medium chain acyl-CoA synthetase sequences indicates that the ACSs form a distinct clade from other acyl-CoA synthetases. Within this clade, the archaeal ACSs are not monophyletic and fall into three groups composed of both bacterial and archaeal sequences. Kinetic analysis of two archaeal enzymes, an ACS from Methanothermobacter thermautotrophicus (designated as MT-ACS1) and an ACS from Archaeoglobus fulgidus (designated as AF-ACS2), revealed that these enzymes have very different properties. MT-ACS1 has nearly 11-fold higher affinity and 14-fold higher catalytic efficiency with acetate than with propionate, a property shared by most ACSs. However, AF-ACS2 has only 2.3-fold higher affinity and catalytic efficiency with acetate than with propionate. This enzyme has an affinity for propionate that is almost identical to that of MT-ACS1 for acetate and nearly tenfold higher than the affinity of MT-ACS1 for propionate. Furthermore, MT-ACS1 is limited to acetate and propionate as acyl substrates, whereas AF-ACS2 can also utilize longer straight and branched chain acyl substrates. Phylogenetic analysis, sequence alignment and structural modeling suggest a molecular basis for the altered substrate preference and expanded substrate range of AF-ACS2 versus MT-ACS1.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 06/2007; 2(2):95-107.
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ABSTRACT: The phylogenetic distribution of the components comprising the transcriptional machinery in the crenarchaeal and euryarchaeal lineages of the Archaea was analyzed in a systematic manner by genome-wide profiling of transcription complements in fifteen complete archaeal genome sequences. Initially, a reference set of transcription-associated proteins (TAPs) consisting of sequences functioning in all aspects of the transcriptional process, and originating from the three domains of life, was used to query the genomes. TAP-families were detected by sequence clustering of the TAPs and their archaeal homologues, and through extensive database searching, these families were assigned a function. The phylogenetic origins of archaeal genes matching hidden Markov model profiles of protein domains associated with transcription, and those encoding the TAP-homologues, showed there is extensive lineage-specificity of proteins that function as regulators of transcription: most of these sequences are present solely in the Euryarchaeota, with nearly all of them homologous to bacterial DNA-binding proteins. Strikingly, the hidden Markov model profile searches revealed that archaeal chromatin and histone-modifying enzymes also display extensive taxon-restrictedness, both across and within the two phyla.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 06/2007; 2(2):117-25.
Article: Gene decay in archaea.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The gene-dense chromosomes of archaea and bacteria were long thought to be devoid of pseudogenes, but with the massive increase in available genome sequences, whole genome comparisons between closely related species have identified mutations that have rendered numerous genes inactive. Comparative analyses of sequenced archaeal genomes revealed numerous pseudogenes, which can constitute up to 8.6% of the annotated coding sequences in some genomes. The largest proportion of pseudogenes is created by gene truncations, followed by frameshift mutations. Within archaeal genomes, large numbers of pseudogenes contain more than one inactivating mutation, suggesting that pseudogenes are deleted from the genome more slowly in archaea than in bacteria. Although archaea seem to retain pseudogenes longer than do bacteria, most archaeal genomes have unique repertoires of pseudogenes.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 06/2007; 2(2):137-43.
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ABSTRACT: Despite having provided the first example of a prokaryal glycoprotein, little is known of the rules governing the N-glycosylation process in Archaea. As in Eukarya and Bacteria, archaeal N-glycosylation takes place at the Asn residues of Asn-X-Ser/Thr sequons. Since not all sequons are utilized, it is clear that other factors, including the context in which a sequon exists, affect glycosylation efficiency. As yet, the contribution to N-glycosylation made by sequon-bordering residues and other related factors in Archaea remains unaddressed. In the following, the surroundings of Asn residues confirmed by experiment as modified were analyzed in an attempt to define sequence rules and requirements for archaeal N-glycosylation.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 06/2007; 2(2):73-81.
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ABSTRACT: Little is known about the methanogenic degradation of acetate, the fate of molecular hydrogen and formate or the ability of methanogens to grow and produce methane in cold, anoxic marine sediments. The microbes that produce methane were examined in permanently cold, anoxic marine sediments at Hydrate Ridge (44 degrees 35' N, 125 degrees 10' W, depth 800 m). Sediment samples (15 to 35 cm deep) were collected from areas of active methane ebullition or areas where methane hydrates occurred. The samples were diluted into enrichment medium with formate, acetate or trimethylamine as catabolic substrate. After 2 years of incubation at 4 degrees C to 15 degrees C, enrichment cultures produced methane. PCR amplification and sequencing of the rRNA genes from the highest dilutions with growth suggested that each enrichment culture contained a single strain of methanogen. The level of sequence similarity (91 to 98%) to previously characterized prokaryotes suggested that these methanogens belonged to novel genera or species within the orders Methanomicrobiales and Methanosarcinales. Analysis of the 16S rRNA gene libraries from DNA extracted directly from the sediment samples revealed phylotypes that were either distantly related to cultivated methanogens or possible anaerobic methane oxidizers related to the ANME-1 and ANME-2 groups of the Archaea. However, no methanogenic sequences were detected, suggesting that methanogens represented only a small proportion of the archaeal community.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 09/2006; 2(1):31-8.
Article: Distribution, structure and diversity of "bacterial" genes encoding two-component proteins in the Euryarchaeota.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The publicly available annotated archaeal genome sequences (23 complete and three partial annotations, October 2005) were searched for the presence of potential two-component open reading frames (ORFs) using gene category lists and BLASTP. A total of 489 potential two-component genes were identified from the gene category lists and BLASTP. Two-component genes were found in 14 of the 21 Euryarchaeal sequences (October 2005) and in neither the Crenarchaeota nor the Nanoarchaeota. A total of 20 predicted protein domains were identified in the putative two-component ORFs that, in addition to the histidine kinase and receiver domains, also includes sensor and signalling domains. The detailed structure of these putative proteins is shown, as is the distribution of each class of two-component genes in each species. Potential members of orthologous groups have been identified, as have any potential operons containing two or more two-component genes. The number of two-component genes in those Euryarchaeal species which have them seems to be linked more to lifestyle and habitat than to genome complexity, with most examples being found in Methanospirillum hungatei, Haloarcula marismortui, Methanococcoides burtonii and the mesophilic Methanosarcinales group. The large numbers of two-component genes in these species may reflect a greater requirement for internal regulation. Phylogenetic analysis of orthologous groups of five different protein classes, three probably involved in regulating taxis, suggests that most of these ORFs have been inherited vertically from an ancestral Euryarchaeal species and point to a limited number of key horizontal gene transfer events.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 09/2006; 2(1):11-30.
Article: Purification and characterization of a thermostable, haloalkaliphilic extracellular serine protease from the extreme halophilic archaeon Halogeometricum borinquense strain TSS101.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A novel haloalkaliphilic, thermostable serine protease was purified from the extreme halophilic archaeon, Halogeometricum borinquense strain TSS101. The protease was isolated from a stationary phase culture, purified 116-fold with 18% yield and characterized biochemically. The molecular mass of the purified enzyme was estimated to be 86 kDa. The enzyme showed the highest activity at 60 degrees C and pH 10.0 in 20% NaCl. The enzyme had high activity over the pH range from 6.0 to 10.0. Enzymatic activity was strongly inhibited by 1 mM phenyl methylsulfonyl fluoride, but activity was increased 59% by 0.1% cetyltrimethylammonium bromide. The enzyme exhibited relatively high thermal stability, retaining 80% of its activity after 1 h at 90 degrees C. Thermostability increased in the presence of Ca2+. The stability of the enzyme was maintained in 10% sucrose and in the absence of NaCl.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 09/2006; 2(1):51-7.
Article: Identification of SmtB/ArsR cis elements and proteins in archaea using the Prokaryotic InterGenic Exploration Database (PIGED).[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Microbial genome sequencing projects have revealed an apparently wide distribution of SmtB/ArsR metal-responsive transcriptional regulators among prokaryotes. Using a position-dependent weight matrix approach, prokaryotic genome sequences were screened for SmtB/ArsR DNA binding sites using data derived from intergenic sequences upstream of orthologous genes encoding these regulators. Sixty SmtB/ArsR operators linked to metal detoxification genes, including nine among various archaeal species, are predicted among 230 annotated and draft prokaryotic genome sequences. Independent multiple sequence alignments of putative operator sites and corresponding winged helix-turn-helix motifs define sequence signatures for the DNA binding activity of this SmtB/ArsR subfamily. Prediction of an archaeal SmtB/ArsR based upon these signature sequences is confirmed using purified Methanosarcina acetivorans C2A protein and electrophoretic mobility shift assays. Tools used in this study have been incorporated into a web application, the Prokaryotic InterGenic Exploration Database (PIGED; http://bioinformatics.uwp.edu/~PIGED/home.htm), facilitating comparable studies. Use of this tool and establishment of orthology based on DNA binding signatures holds promise for deciphering potential cellular roles of various archaeal winged helix-turn-helix transcriptional regulators.Archaea (Vancouver, B.C.) 09/2006; 2(1):39-49.
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