A Zinc(II)/Lead(II)/Cadmium(II)-Inducible Operon from the Cyanobacterium Anabaena Is Regulated by AztR, an α3N ArsR/SmtB Metalloregulator †
ABSTRACT A novel Zn(II)/Pb(II)/Cd(II)-responsive operon that consists of genes encoding a Zn(II)/Pb(II) CPx-ATPase efflux pump (aztA) and a Zn(II)/Cd(II)/Pb(II)-specific SmtB/ArsR family repressor (aztR) has been identified and characterized from the cyanobacterium Anabaena PCC 7120. In vivo real time quantitative RT-PCR assays reveal that both aztR and aztA expression are induced by divalent metal ions Zn(II), Cd(II), and Pb(II) but not by other divalent [Co(II), Ni(II)] or monovalent metal ions [Cu(I) and Ag(I)]. The introduction of a plasmid containing the azt operon into a Zn(II)/Cd(II)-hypersensitive Escherichia coli strain GG48 functionally restores Zn(II) and Pb(II) resistance with a limited effect on Cd(II) resistance. Gel mobility shift assays and aztR O/P-lacZ induction experiments confirm that AztR is the metal-regulated repressor of this operon. In vitro biochemical and mutagenesis studies indicate that AztR contains a sole metal-binding site, designated the alpha3N site, that binds Zn(II), Cd(II), and Pb(II) with a high affinity. Optical absorption spectra of Co(II)- and Cd(II)-substituted AztR and (113)Cd NMR spectroscopy of (113)Cd(II)-substituted AztR reveal that the sole alpha3N site in AztR is a CadC-like distorted tetrahedral S(3)(N,O) metal site. The first metal-coordination shell in the AztR alpha3N site differs from other alpha3N family members that sense Cd(II)/Pb(II) and those alpha5 repressors that sense Zn(II)/Co(II). Our results reveal that the alpha3N site in AztR mediates derepression of the azt operon in the presence of Zn(II), as well as Cd(II) and Pb(II); this might have provided Anabaena with an evolutionary advantage to adapt to heavy-metal-rich environments, while maintaining homeostasis of an essential metal ion, Zn(II).
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ABSTRACT: Traces of metal are required for fundamental biochemical processes, such as photosynthesis and respiration. Cyanobacteria metal homeostasis acquires an important role because the photosynthetic machinery imposes a high demand for metals, making them a limiting factor for cyanobacteria, especially in the open oceans. On the other hand, in the last two centuries, the metal concentrations in marine environments and lake sediments have increased as a result of several industrial activities. In all cases, cells have to tightly regulate uptake to maintain their intracellular concentrations below toxic levels. Mechanisms to obtain metal under limiting conditions and to protect cells from an excess of metals are present in cyanobacteria. Understanding metal homeostasis in cyanobacteria and the proteins involved will help to evaluate the use of these microorganisms in metal bioremediation. Furthermore, it will also help to understand how metal availability impacts primary production in the oceans. In this review, we will focus on copper, nickel, cobalt and arsenic (a toxic metalloid) metabolism, which has been mainly analyzed in model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803.11/2014; DOI:10.3390/life4040865
- Reviews of environmental contamination and toxicology 01/2013; 224:1-38. DOI:10.1007/978-1-4614-5882-1_1 · 3.63 Impact Factor