The ATP synthase a-subunit of extreme alkaliphiles is a distinct variant: mutations in the critical alkaliphile-specific residue Lys-180 and other residues that support alkaliphile oxidative phosphorylation.

Department of Pharmacology and Systems Therapeutics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.
Journal of Biological Chemistry (Impact Factor: 4.6). 10/2010; 285(42):32105-15. DOI: 10.1074/jbc.M110.165084
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A lysine residue in the putative proton uptake pathway of the ATP synthase a-subunit is found only in alkaliphilic Bacillus species and is proposed to play roles in proton capture, retention and passage to the synthase rotor. Here, Lys-180 was replaced with alanine (Ala), glycine (Gly), cysteine (Cys), arginine (Arg), or histidine (His) in the chromosome of alkaliphilic Bacillus pseudofirmus OF4. All mutants exhibited octylglucoside-stimulated ATPase activity and β-subunit levels at least as high as wild-type. Purified mutant F(1)F(0)-ATP synthases all contained substantial a-subunit levels. The mutants exhibited diverse patterns of native (no octylglucoside) ATPase activity and a range of defects in malate growth and in vitro ATP synthesis at pH 10.5. ATP synthesis by the Ala, Gly, and His mutants was also impaired at pH 7.5 in the presence of a protonophoric uncoupler. Thus Lys-180 plays a role when the protonmotive force is reduced at near neutral, not just at high pH. The Arg mutant exhibited no ATP synthesis activity in the alkaliphile setting although activity was reported for a K180R mutant of a thermoalkaliphile synthase (McMillan, D. G., Keis, S., Dimroth, P., and Cook, G. M. (2007) J. Biol. Chem. 282, 17395-17404). The hypothesis that a-subunits from extreme alkaliphiles and the thermoalkaliphile represent distinct variants was supported by demonstration of the importance of additional alkaliphile-specific a-subunit residues, not found in the thermoalkaliphile, for malate growth of B. pseudofirmus OF4. Finally, a mutant B. pseudofirmus OF4 synthase with switched positions of Lys-180 (helix 4) and Gly-212 (helix 5) retained significant coupled synthase activity accompanied by proton leakiness.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In the c-ring rotor of ATP synthases ions are shuttled across the membrane during ATP synthesis by a unique rotary mechanism. We investigated characteristics of the c-ring from the alkaliphile Bacillus pseudofirmus OF4 with respect to evolutionary adaptations to operate with protons at high environmental pH. The X-ray structures of the wild-type c13 ring at pH 9.0 and a ‘neutralophile-like’ mutant (P51A) at pH 4.4, at 2.4 and 2.8 Å resolution, respectively, reveal a dependency of the conformation and protonation state of the proton-binding glutamate (E54) on environmental hydrophobicity. Faster labeling kinetics with the inhibitor dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD) demonstrate a greater flexibility of E54 in the mutant due to reduced water occupancy within the H+-binding site. A second ‘neutralophile-like’ mutant (V21N) shows reduced growth at high pH, which is explained by restricted conformational freedom of the mutant's E54 carboxylate. The study directly connects subtle structural adaptations of the c-ring ion-binding site to in vivo effects of alkaliphile cell physiology.
    Molecular Microbiology 04/2014; 92(5). DOI:10.1111/mmi.12605 · 5.03 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: AtpI, a membrane protein encoded in many bacterial atp operons, is reported to be necessary for c-ring oligomer formation during assembly of some ATP synthase complexes. We investigated chaperone functions of the AtpI in comparison with AtpZ, a protein encoded by a gene upstream of atpI that has a role in magnesium acquisition at near neutral pH, and with SpoIIIJ and YqjG, two YidC/Oxa1/Alb3 family proteins, in alkaliphilic Bacillus pseudofirmus OF4. A strain with a chromosomal deletion of atpI grew non-fermentatively and its purified ATP synthase had a c-ring of normal size, indicating that AtpI is not absolutely required for ATP synthase function. However, deletion of atpI, but not atpZ, led to reduced stability of the ATP synthase rotor, reduced membrane association of the F(1) domain, reduced ATPase activity and modestly reduced non-fermentative growth on malate at both pH 7.5 and 10.5. Both spoIIIJ and yqjG, but not atpI or atpZ, complemented a YidC-depleted Escherichia coli strain. Consistent with such overlapping functions, single deletions of spoIIIJ or yqjG in the alkaliphile did not affect membrane ATP synthase levels or activities, but functional specialization was indicated by YqjG and SpoIIIJ showing respectively greater roles in malate growth at pH 7.5 and 10.5. Expression of yqjG was elevated at pH 7.5 relative to 10.5 and in ΔspoIIIJ strains, but was lower than constitutive spoIIIJ expression. Deletion of atpZ caused the largest increase, among the mutants, in magnesium concentrations needed for pH 7.5 growth. The basis for this phenotype is not yet resolved.
    Journal of bacteriology 11/2012; DOI:10.1128/JB.01493-12 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Alkaliphilic Bacillus species are intrinsically interesting due to the bioenergetic problems posed by growth at high pH and high salt. Three alkaline cellulases have been cloned, sequenced and expressed from Bacillus cellulosilyticus N-4 (Bcell) making it an excellent target for genomic sequencing and mining of biomass-degrading enzymes. The genome of Bcell is a single chromosome of 4.7 Mb with no plasmids present and three large phage insertions. The most unusual feature of the genome is the presence of 23 LPXTA membrane anchor proteins; 17 of these are annotated as involved in polysaccharide degradation. These two values are significantly higher than seen in any other Bacillus species. This high number of membrane anchor proteins is seen only in pathogenic Gram-positive organisms such as Listeria monocytogenes or Staphylococcus aureus. Bcell also possesses four sortase D subfamily 4 enzymes that incorporate LPXTA-bearing proteins into the cell wall; three of these are closely related to each other and unique to Bcell. Cell fractionation and enzymatic assay of Bcell cultures show that the majority of polysaccharide degradation is associated with the cell wall LPXTA-enzymes, an unusual feature in Gram-positive aerobes. Genomic analysis and growth studies both strongly argue against Bcell being a truly cellulolytic organism, in spite of its name. Preliminary results suggest that fungal mycelia may be the natural substrate for this organism. Bacillus cellulosilyticus N-4, in spite of its name, does not possess any of the genes necessary for crystalline cellulose degradation, demonstrating the risk of classifying microorganisms without the benefit of genomic analysis. Bcell is the first Gram-positive aerobic organism shown to use predominantly cell-bound, non-cellulosomal enzymes for polysaccharide degradation. The LPXTA-sortase system utilized by Bcell may have applications both in anchoring cellulases and other biomass-degrading enzymes to Bcell itself and in anchoring proteins other Gram-positive organisms.
    PLoS ONE 04/2013; 8(4):e61131. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0061131 · 3.53 Impact Factor