Ana Mingote

New University of Lisbon, Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal

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Publications (15)53.87 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The biosynthetic pathway for the rare compatible solute mannosylglucosylglycerate (MGG) accumulated by Rhodopirellula baltica, a marine member of the phylum Planctomycetes, has been elucidated. Like one of the pathways used in the thermophilic bacterium Petrotoga mobilis, it has genes coding for glucosyl-3-phosphoglycerate synthase (GpgS) and mannosylglucosyl-3-phosphoglycerate (MGPG) synthase (MggA). However, unlike Ptg. mobilis, the mesophilic R. baltica uses a novel and very specific MGPG phosphatase (MggB). It also lacks a key enzyme of the alternative pathway in Ptg. mobilis - the mannosylglucosylglycerate synthase (MggS) that catalyses the condensation of glucosylglycerate with GDP-mannose to produce MGG. The R. baltica enzymes GpgS, MggA, and MggB were expressed in E. coli and characterized in terms of kinetic parameters, substrate specificity, temperature and pH dependence. This is the first characterization of genes and enzymes for the synthesis of compatible solutes in the phylum Planctomycetes and for the synthesis of MGG in a mesophile.
    Scientific Reports 08/2013; 3:2378. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The nutritionally versatile and naturally competent soil bacterium Acinetobacter baylyi copes with salt stress by the accumulation of compatible solutes. NMR analyses revealed that cells amassed glutamate and the rather unusual sugar alcohol mannitol upon an increase of the external NaCl concentration. To unravel the path of mannitol biosynthesis, the genome was inspected for genes potentially involved in its biosynthesis. A gene encoding a potential mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (mtlD) was identified in the genome of A. baylyi. Expression of mtlD was highly induced at high salinity. mtlD was overexpressed and the purified protein indeed produced mannitol-1-phosphate from fructose-6-phosphate. The enzyme preferred NADPH over NADH and the specific activity of fructose-6-phosphate reduction with NADPH was 130 U mg(-1) . Enzymatic activity was strictly salt-dependent. Deletion of mtlD resulted in a complete loss of salt-dependent mannitol biosynthesis. We provide clear evidence that osmo-induced synthesis of the compatible solute mannitol is by a two-step pathway and that the mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase mediating the first step of this pathway is regulated by salinity on the transcriptional as well as on the activity level.
    Environmental Microbiology 01/2013; · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The intracellular accumulation of small organic solutes was described in the marine bacterium Rhodopirellula baltica, which belongs to the globally distributed phylum Planctomycetes whose members exhibit an intriguing lifestyle and cell morphology. Sucrose, α-glutamate, trehalose and mannosylglucosylglycerate (MGG) are the main solutes involved in the osmoadaptation of R. baltica. The ratio and total intracellular organic solutes varied significantly in response to an increase in salinity, temperature and nitrogen content. R. baltica displayed an initial response to both osmotic and thermal stresses that includes α-glutamate accumulation. This trend was followed by a rather unique and complex osmoadaptation mechanism characterized by a dual response to sub-optimal and supra-optimal salinities. A reduction in the salinity to sub-optimal conditions led primarily to the accumulation of trehalose. In contrast, R. baltica responded to salt stress mostly by increasing the intracellular levels of sucrose. The switch between the accumulation of trehalose and sucrose was by far the most significant effect caused by increasing the salt levels of the medium. Additionally, MGG accumulation was found to be salt- as well as nitrogen-dependent. MGG accumulation was regulated by nitrogen levels replacing α-glutamate as a K(+) counterion in nitrogen-poor environments. This is the first report of the accumulation of compatible solutes in the phylum Planctomycetes and of the MGG accumulation in a mesophilic organism.
    PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(6):e68289. · 3.73 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A mannosylglycerate synthase (MgS) gene detected in the genome of Selaginella moellendorffii was expressed in E. coli and the recombinant enzyme was purified and characterized. A remarkable and unprecedented feature of this enzyme was the ability to efficiently synthesize mannosylglycerate (MG) and glucosylglycerate (GG) alike, with maximal activity at 50 °C, pH 8.0 and with Mg(2+) as reaction enhancer. We have also identified a novel glycoside hydrolase gene in this plant's genome, which was functionally confirmed to be highly specific for the hydrolysis of MG and GG and named MG hydrolase (MgH), due to its homology with bacterial MgHs. The recombinant enzyme was maximally active at 40 °C and at pH 6.0-6.5. The activity was independent of cations, but Mn(2+) was a strong stimulator. Regardless of these efficient enzymatic resources we could not detect MG or GG in S. moellendorffii or in the extracts of five additional Selaginella species. Herein, we describe the properties of the first eukaryotic enzymes for the synthesis and hydrolysis of the compatible solutes, MG and GG.
    Planta 11/2012; · 3.35 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: A high proportion of microorganisms that colonise cold environments originate from marine sites; hence, they must combine adaptation to low temperature with osmoregulation. However, little or nothing is known about the nature of compatible solutes used by cold-adapted organisms to balance the osmotic pressure of the external medium. We studied the intracellular accumulation of small organic solutes in the Arctic isolate Carnobacterium strain 17-4 as a function of the growth temperature and the NaCl concentration in the medium. Data on 16S rDNA sequence and DNA-DNA hybridisation tests corroborate the assignment of this isolate as a new species of the bacterial genus Carnobacterium. The growth profiles displayed maximal specific growth rate at 30°C in medium without NaCl, and maximal values of final biomass at growth temperatures between 10 and 20°C. Therefore, Carnobacterium strain 17-4 exhibits halotolerant and psychrotolerant behaviours. The solute pool contained glycine-betaine, the main solute used for osmoregulation, and an unknown compound whose structure was identified as α-glucopyranosyl-(1-3)-β-glucopyranosyl-(1-1)-α-glucopyranose (abbreviated as gluconeotrehalose), using nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry. This unusual solute consistently accumulated to high levels (0.35 ± 0.05 mg/mg cell protein) regardless of the growth temperature or salinity. The efficiency of gluconeotrehalose in the stabilisation of four model enzymes against heat damage was also assessed, and the effects were highly protein dependent. The lack of variation in the gluconeotrehalose content observed under heat stress, osmotic stress, and starvation provides no clue for the physiological role of this rare solute.
    Extremophiles 07/2011; 15(4):463-72. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Members of the genus Acinetobacter are well known for their metabolic versatility that allows them to adapt to different ecological niches. Here, we have addressed how the model strain Acinetobacter baylyi copes with different salinities and low water activities. A. baylyi tolerates up to 900 mM sodium salts and even higher concentrations of potassium chloride. Growth at high salinities was better in complex than in mineral medium and addition of glycine betaine stimulated growth at high salinities in mineral medium. Cells grown at high salinities took up glycine betaine from the medium. Uptake of glycine betaine was energy dependent and dependent on a salinity gradient across the membrane. Inspection of the genome sequence revealed two potential candidates for glycine betaine transport, both encoding potential secondary transporters, one of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS) class (ACIAD2280) and one of the betaine/choline/carnitine transporter (BCCT) family (ACIAD3460). The latter is essential for glycine betaine transport in A. baylyi. The broad distribution of ACIAD3460 homologues indicates the essential role of secondary transporters in the adaptation of Acinetobacter species to osmotic stress.
    Archives of Microbiology 05/2011; 193(10):723-30. · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: N(epsilon)-acetyl-beta-lysine is a unique compatible solute found in methanogenic archaea grown at high salinities. Deletion of the genes that encode the lysine-2,3-aminomutase (ablA) and the beta-lysine acetyltransferase (ablB) abolished the production of N(epsilon)-acetyl-beta-lysine in Methanosarcina mazei Gö1. The mutant grew well at low and intermediate salinities. Interestingly, growth at high salt (800 mM NaCl) was only slowed down but not impaired demonstrating that in M. mazei Gö1 N(epsilon)-acetyl-beta-lysine is not essential for growth at high salinities. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis revealed an increased glutamate pool in the mutant. In addition to alpha-glutamate, a novel solute, alanine, was produced. The intracellular alanine concentration was as high as 0.36 +/- 0.05 micromol (mg protein)-1 representing up to 18% of the total solute pool at 800 mM NaCl. The cellular alanine concentration increased with the salinity of the medium and decreased in the presence of glycine betaine in the medium, indicating that alanine is used as compatible solute by M. mazei Gö1.
    Environmental Microbiology 06/2009; 11(5):1056-65. · 5.76 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The methanogenic archaeon Methanosarcina mazei Gö1 accumulates glycine betaine in response to hypersalinity but differs from most other methanoarchaea in having two gene clusters both encoding a potential glycine betaine transporter, Ota and Otb. We have created mutants with either ota or otb deleted to address their role in salt adaptation. The mutants were not impaired in growth at low or high salt, neither at 37 degrees C nor at lower temperatures. However, the Deltaota mutant was completely defective in glycine betaine transport demonstrating that Ota is the only glycine betaine transporter in M. mazei. The mutation in otb led to increased transcription of ota and thus increased transport and accumulation of glycine betaine suggesting a cross talk between the two transporters.
    Archives of Microbiology 01/2009; 191(4):291-301. · 1.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Summary Nε-acetyl-β-lysine is a unique compatible solute found in methanogenic archaea grown at high salinities. Deletion of the genes that encode the lysine-2,3-aminomutase (ablA) and the β-lysine acetyltransferase (ablB) abolished the production of Nε-acetyl-β-lysine in Methanosarcina mazei Gö1. The mutant grew well at low and intermediate salinities. Interestingly, growth at high salt (800 mM NaCl) was only slowed down but not impaired demonstrating that in M. mazei Gö1 Nε-acetyl-β-lysine is not essential for growth at high salinities. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) analysis revealed an increased glutamate pool in the mutant. In addition to α-glutamate, a novel solute, alanine, was produced. The intracellular alanine concentration was as high as 0.36 ± 0.05 μmol (mg protein)−1 representing up to 18% of the total solute pool at 800 mM NaCl. The cellular alanine concentration increased with the salinity of the medium and decreased in the presence of glycine betaine in the medium, indicating that alanine is used as compatible solute by M. mazei Gö1.
    Environmental Microbiology 01/2009; 11(5):1056-1065. · 6.24 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In response to stressful conditions like supra-optimal salinity in the growth medium or temperature, many microorganisms accumulate low-molecular-mass organic compounds known as compatible solutes. In contrast with mesophiles that accumulate neutral or zwitterionic compounds, the solutes of hyperthermophiles are typically negatively charged. (2R)-2-(alpha-D-Mannopyranosyl)glycerate (herein abbreviated as mannosylglycerate) is one of the most widespread solutes among thermophilic and hyperthermophilic prokaryotes. In this work, several molecules chemically related to mannosylglycerate were synthesized, namely (2S)-2-(1-O-alpha-D-mannopyranosyl)propionate, 2-(1-O-alpha-D-mannopyranosyl)acetate, (2R)-2-(1-O-alpha-D-glucopyranosyl)glycerate and 1-O-(2-glyceryl)-alpha-D-mannopyranoside. The effectiveness of the newly synthesized compounds for the protection of model enzymes against heat-induced denaturation, aggregation and inactivation was evaluated, using differential scanning calorimetry, light scattering and measurements of residual activity. For comparison, the protection induced by natural compatible solutes, either neutral (e.g., trehalose, glycerol, ectoine) or negatively charged (di-myo-inositol-1,3'-phosphate and diglycerol phosphate), was assessed. Phosphate, sulfate, acetate and KCl were also included in the assays to rank the solutes and new compounds in the Hofmeister series. The data demonstrate the superiority of charged organic solutes as thermo-stabilizers of enzymes and strongly support the view that the extent of protein stabilization rendered by those solutes depends clearly on the specific solute/enzyme examined. The relevance of these findings to our knowledge on the mode of action of charged solutes is discussed.
    Carbohydrate research 10/2008; 343(18):3025-33. · 2.03 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We disrupted the mpgS encoding mannosyl-3-phosphoglycerate synthase (MpgS) of Thermus thermophilus strains HB27 and RQ-1, by homologous recombination, to assess the role of the compatible solute mannosylglycerate (MG) in osmoadaptation of the mutants, to examine their ability to grow in NaCl-containing medium and to identify the intracellular organic solutes. Strain HB27 accumulated only MG when grown in defined medium containing 2% NaCl; mutant HB27M9 did not grow in the same medium containing more than 1% NaCl. When trehalose or MG was added, the mutant was able to grow up to 2% of NaCl and accumulated trehalose or MG, respectively, plus amino acids. T. thermophilus RQ-1 grew in medium containing up to 5% NaCl, accumulated trehalose and lower amounts of MG. Mutant RQ-1M1 lost the ability to grow in medium containing more than 3% NaCl and accumulated trehalose and moderate levels of amino acids. Exogenous MG did not improve the ability of the organism to grow above 3% NaCl, but caused a decrease in the levels of amino acids. Our results show that MG serves as a compatible solute primarily during osmoadaptation at low levels of NaCl while trehalose is primarily involved in osmoadaptation during growth at higher NaCl levels.
    Extremophiles 12/2007; 11(6):833-40. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The thermophilic and halotolerant nature of Rubrobacter xylanophilus led us to investigate the accumulation of compatible solutes in this member of the deepest lineage of the Phylum Actinobacteria. Trehalose and mannosylglycerate (MG) were the major compounds accumulated under all conditions examined, including those for optimal growth. The addition of NaCl to a complex medium and a defined medium had a slight or negligible effect on the accumulation of these compatible solutes. Glycine betaine, di-myo-inositol-phosphate (DIP), a new phosphodiester compound, identified as di-N-acetyl-glucosamine phosphate and glutamate were also detected but in low or trace levels. DIP was always present, except at the highest salinity examined (5% NaCl) and at the lowest temperature tested (43 degrees C). Nevertheless, the levels of DIP increased with the growth temperature. This is the first report of MG and DIP in an actinobacterium and includes the identification of the new solute di-N-acetyl-glucosamine phosphate.
    Extremophiles 10/2007; 11(5):667-73. · 2.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: alpha-Phosphoglucomutase (alpha-PGM) plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism by catalyzing the reversible conversion of alpha-glucose 1-phosphate to glucose 6-phosphate. Isolation of alpha-PGM activity from cell extracts of Lactococcus lactis strain MG1363 led to the conclusion that this activity is encoded by yfgH, herein renamed pgmH. Its gene product has no sequence homology to proteins in the alpha-d-phosphohexomutase superfamily and is instead related to the eukaryotic phosphomannomutases within the haloacid dehalogenase superfamily. In contrast to known bacterial alpha-PGMs, this 28-kDa enzyme is highly specific for alpha-glucose 1-phosphate and glucose 6-phosphate and showed no activity for mannose phosphate. To elucidate the function of pgmH, the metabolism of glucose and galactose was characterized in mutants overproducing or with a deficiency of alpha-PGM activity. Overproduction of alpha-PGM led to increased glycolytic flux and growth rate on galactose. Despite several attempts, we failed to obtain a deletion mutant of pgmH. The essentiality of this gene was proven by using a conditional knock-out strain in which a native copy of the gene was provided in trans under the control of the nisin promoter. Growth of this strain was severely impaired when alpha-PGM activity was below the control level. We show that the novel L. lactis alpha-PGM is the only enzyme that mediates the interconversion of alpha-glucose 1-phosphate to glucose 6-phosphate and is essential for growth.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 01/2007; 281(48):36864-73. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this study we correlate the presence of genes leading to the synthesis of trehalose and mannosylglycerate (MG) in 17 strains of the genus Thermus with the ability of the strains to grow and accumulate these compatible solutes in a defined medium containing NaCl. The two sets of genes, namely, otsA/otsB for the synthesis of trehalose and mpgS/mpgP for the synthesis of MG, were necessary for the growth of Thermus thermophilus in a defined medium containing up to 6% NaCl. Strains lacking a complete otsA gene did not grow in defined medium containing >2% NaCl. One strain of T. thermophilus lacking the genes for the synthesis of MG did not grow in a medium with >1% NaCl. We did not identify any of these genes in the type strains of the other seven species of Thermus, and none of those strains grew in defined medium with 1% NaCl. The results strongly indicate that the combined accumulation of trehalose and MG is required for optimal osmotic adjustment.
    Applied and Environmental Microbiology 05/2005; 71(5):2460-6. · 3.68 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Strains of Thermus thermophilus accumulate primarily trehalose and smaller amounts of mannosylglycerate in response to salt stress in yeast extract-containing media (O. C. Nunes, C. M. Manaia, M. S. da Costa, and H. Santos, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61:2351-2357, 1995). A 2.4-kbp DNA fragment from T. thermophilus strain RQ-1 carrying otsA (encoding trehalose-phosphate synthase [TPS]), otsB (encoding trehalose-phosphate phosphatase [TPP]), and a short sequence of the 5' end of treS (trehalose synthase [TreS]) was cloned from a gene library. The sequences of the three genes (including treS) were amplified by PCR and sequenced, revealing that the genes were structurally linked. To understand the role of trehalose during salt stress in T. thermophilus RQ-1, we constructed a mutant, designated RQ-1M6, in which TPS (otsA) and TPP (otsB) genes were disrupted by gene replacement. Mutant RQ-1M6 accumulated trehalose and mannosylglycerate in a medium containing yeast extract and NaCl. However, growth in a defined medium (without yeast extract, known to contain trehalose) containing NaCl led to the accumulation of mannosylglycerate but not trehalose. The deletion of otsA and otsB reduced the ability to grow in defined salt-containing medium, with the maximum salinity being 5% NaCl for RQ-1 and 3% NaCl for RQ-1M6. The lower salt tolerance observed in the mutant was relieved by the addition of trehalose to the growth media. In contrast to trehalose, the addition of glycine betaine, mannosylglycerate, maltose, and glucose to the growth medium did not allow the mutant to grow at higher salinities. The results presented here provide crucial evidence for the importance of the TPS/TPP pathway for the synthesis and accumulation of trehalose and the decisive contribution of this disaccharide to osmotic adaptation in T. thermophilus RQ-1.
    Journal of Bacteriology 11/2003; 185(20):5943-52. · 3.19 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

109 Citations
53.87 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2009–2013
    • New University of Lisbon
      • Institute of Chemical and Biological Technology (ITQB)
      Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal
    • Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main
      • Institut für Molekulare Biowissenschaften
      Frankfurt am Main, Hesse, Germany
  • 2003–2012
    • University of Coimbra
      • • Centro de Neurociências e Biologia Celular (CNC)
      • • Departamento de Zoologia
      Coimbra, Distrito de Coimbra, Portugal