[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fibrobacter succinogenes S85 is an anaerobic non-cellulosome utilizing cellulolytic bacterium originally isolated from the cow rumen microbial community. Efforts to elucidate its cellulolytic machinery have resulted in the proposal of numerous models which involve cell-surface attachment via a combination of cellulose-binding fibro-slime proteins and pili, the production of cellulolytic vesicles, and the entry of cellulose fibers into the periplasmic space. Here, we used a combination of RNA-sequencing, proteomics, and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to further clarify the cellulolytic mechanism of F. succinogenes. Our RNA-sequence analysis shows that genes encoding type II and III secretion systems, fibro-slime proteins, and pili are differentially expressed on cellulose, relative to glucose. A subcellular fractionation of cells grown on cellulose revealed that carbohydrate active enzymes associated with cellulose deconstruction and fibro-slime proteins were greater in the extracellular medium, as compared to the periplasm and outer membrane fractions. TEMs of samples harvested at mid-exponential and stationary phases of growth on cellulose and glucose showed the presence of grooves in the cellulose between the bacterial cells and substrate, suggesting enzymes work extracellularly for cellulose degradation. Membrane vesicles were only observed in stationary phase cultures grown on cellulose. These results provide evidence that F. succinogenes attaches to cellulose fibers using fibro-slime and pili, produces cellulases, such as endoglucanases, that are secreted extracellularly using type II and III secretion systems, and degrades the cellulose into cellodextrins that are then imported back into the periplasm for further digestion by β-glucanases and other cellulases.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Desulfotomaculum reducens MI-1 is a Firmicute strain capable of reducing a variety of heavy metal ions and has a great potential in heavy metal bioremediation. We recently identified Dred_2421 as a potential iron reductase through proteomic study of D. reducens. The current study examines its iron-reduction mechanism. Dred_2421, like its close homolog from Escherichia coli (2, 4-dienoyl-CoA reductase), has an FMN-binding N-terminal domain (NTD), an FAD-binding C-terminal domain (CTD), and a 4Fe-4S cluster between the two domains. To understand the mechanism of the iron-reduction activity and the role of each domain, we generated a series of variants for each domain and investigated their iron-reduction activity. Our results suggest that CTD is the main contributor of the iron-reduction activity, and that NTD and the 4Fe-4S cluster are not directly involved in such activity. This study provides a mechanistic understanding of the iron-reductase activity of Dred_2421 and may also help to elucidate other physiological activities this enzyme may have.
No preview · Article · Oct 2015 · Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding of microbial metal reduction is based almost solely on studies of Gram-negative organisms. In this study, we focus on Desulfotomaculum reducens MI-1, a Gram-positive metal reducer whose genome lacks genes with similarity to any characterized metal reductase. Using non-denaturing separations and mass spectrometry identification, in combination with a colorimetric screen for chelated Fe(III)-NTA reduction with NADH as electron donor, we have identified proteins from the D. reducens proteome not previously characterized as iron reductases. Their function was confirmed by heterologous expression in E. coli. Furthermore, we show that these proteins have the capability to reduce soluble Cr(VI) and U(VI) with NADH as electron donor. The proteins identified are NADH:flavin oxidoreductase (Dred_2421) and a protein complex composed of oxidoreductase FAD/NAD(P)-binding subunit (Dred_1685) and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase 1B (Dred_1686). Dred_2421 was identified in the soluble proteome and is predicted to be a cytoplasmic protein. Dred_1685 and Dred_1686 were identified in both the soluble as well as the insoluble protein fraction, suggesting a type of membrane-association, although PSORTb predicts both proteins are cytoplasmic. This study is the first functional proteomic analysis of D. reducens and one of the first analyses of metal and radionuclide reduction in an environmentally relevant Gram-positive bacterium.
No preview · Article · Nov 2014 · Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Integrated ‘omics have been used on pure cultures and co-cultures, yet they have not been applied to complex microbial communities to examine questions of perturbation response. In this study, we used integrated ‘omics to measure the perturbation response of a cellulose-degrading bioreactor community fed with microcrystalline cellulose (Avicel). We predicted that a pH decrease by addition of a pulse of acid would reduce microbial community diversity and temporarily reduce reactor function such as cellulose degradation. However, 16S rDNA pyrosequencing results revealed increased alpha diversity in the microbial community after the perturbation, and a persistence of the dominant community members over the duration of the experiment. Proteomics results showed a decrease in activity of proteins associated with Fibrobacter succinogenes two days after the perturbation followed by increased protein abundances six days after the perturbation. The decrease in cellulolytic activity suggested by the proteomics was confirmed by the accumulation of Avicel in the reactor. Metabolomics showed a pattern similar to that of the proteome, with amino acid production decreasing two days after the perturbation and increasing after six days. This study demonstrated that community ‘omics data provides valuable information about the interactions and function of anaerobic cellulolytic community members after a perturbation.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · FEMS Microbiology Ecology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CONCLUSIONS: Our analyses provide new sources of information for functional annotation in R. capsulatus because uncharacterized genes in modules are now connected with groups of genes that constitute a joint functional annotation. We identified R. capsulatus modules enriched with genes for ribosomal proteins, porphyrin and bacteriochlorophyll anabolism, and biosynthesis of secondary metabolites to be preserved in R. sphaeroides whereas modules related to RcGTA production and signalling showed lack of preservation in R. sphaeroides. In addition, we demonstrated that network statistics may also be applied within-species to identify congruence between mRNA expression and protein abundance data for which simple correlation measurements have previously had mixed results.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of the cyanobacterial genus Cyanothece exhibit considerable variation in physiological and biochemical characteristics. The comparative assessment of the genomes and the proteomes has the potential to provide insights on differences among Cyanothece strains. By applying Sequedex (http://sequedex.lanl.gov), an annotation-independent method for ascribing gene functions, we confirmed significant species-specific differences of functional genes in different Cyanothece strains, particularly in Cyanothece PCC7425. Using a shotgun proteomics approach based on pre-fractionation and tandem mass spectrometry, we detected ~28-48% of the theoretical Cyanothece proteome depending on the strain. The expression of a total of 642 orthologous proteins was observed in all five Cyanothece strains. These shared orthologous proteins showed considerable correlations in their protein abundances across different Cyanothece strains. Functional classification indicated that the majority of proteins involved in central metabolic functions such as amino acid, carbohydrate, protein and RNA metabolism, photosynthesis, respiration and stress responses were observed to a greater extent in the core proteome, whereas proteins involved in membrane transport, iron acquisition, regulatory functions, flagellar motility and chemotaxis were observed to a greater extent in the unique proteome. Considerable differences were evident across different Cyanothece strains. Notably, the analysis of Cyanothece PCC7425, which showed the highest number of unique proteins (682), provided direct evidence of evolutionary differences in this strain. We conclude that Cyanothece PCC7425 diverged significantly from the other Cyanothece strains or evolved from a different lineage.
Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Proteome Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Lignocellulosic biomass has great promise as a highly abundant and renewable source for the production of biofuels. However, the recalcitrant nature of lignocellulose toward hydrolysis into soluble sugars remains a significant challenge to harnessing the potential of this source of bioenergy. A primary method for deconstructing lignocellulose is via chemical treatments, high temperatures, and hydrolytic enzyme cocktails, many of which are derived from the fungus Trichoderma reesei. Herein, we use an activity-based probe for glycoside hydrolases to rapidly identify optimal conditions for maximum enzymatic lignocellulose deconstruction. We also demonstrate that subtle changes to enzyme composition and activity in various strains of T. reesei can be readily characterized by our probe approach. The approach also permits multimodal measurements, including fluorescent gel-based analysis of activity in response to varied conditions and treatments, and mass spectrometry-based quantitative identification of labelled proteins. We demonstrate the promise this probe approach holds to facilitate rapid production of enzyme cocktails for high-efficiency lignocellulose deconstruction to accommodate high-yield biofuel production.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Molecular BioSystems
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: At the rate that prokaryotic genomes can now be generated, comparative genomics studies require a flexible method for quickly and accurately predicting orthologs among the rapidly changing set of genomes available. SPOCS implements a graph-based ortholog prediction method to generate a simple tab-delimited table of orthologs, and in addition, html files that provide a visualization of the predicted ortholog/paralog relationships to which gene/protein expression metadata may be overlaid.Availability and Implementation: A SPOCS web application is freely available at http://cbb.pnnl.gov/portal/tools/spocs.html. Source code for Linux systems is also freely available under an open source license at http://cbb.pnnl.gov/portal/software/spocs.html; the Boost C++ libraries and BLAST are required.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Characterization of microbial protein expression provides information necessary to better understand the unique biological pathways that occur within soil microbial communities that contribute to atmospheric CO2 levels and the Earth's changing climate. A significant challenge in studying the soil microbial community proteome is the initial dissociation of bacterial proteins from the complex mixture of particles found in natural soil. The differential extraction of intact bacterial cells limits the characterization of the complete representation of a microbial community. However, in-situ lysis of bacterial cells in soil can lead to potentially high levels of protein adsorption to soil particles. Here, we investigated various amino acids for their ability to block soil protein adsorption sites prior to in-situ lysis of bacterial cells, as well as their compatibility with both tryptic digestion and mass spectrometric analysis. The treatments were tested by adding proteins from lysed Escherichia coli cells to representative treated and untreated soil samples. The results show that it is possible to significantly increase protein identifications through blockage of binding sites on a variety of soil and sediment textures; use of an optimized desorption buffer further increases the number of identifications. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Termite hindguts are populated by a dense and diverse community of microbial symbionts working in concert to transform lignocellulosic plant material and derived residues into acetate, to recycle and fix nitrogen, and to remove oxygen. Although much has been learned about the breadth of microbial diversity in the hindgut, the ecophysiological roles of its members is less understood. In this study, we present new information about the ecophysiology of microorganism Diplosphaera colotermitum strain TAV2, an autochthonous member of the Reticulitermes flavipes gut community. An integrated high-throughput approach was used to determine the transcriptomic and proteomic profiles of cells grown under hypoxia (2% O2) or atmospheric (20% O2) concentrations of oxygen. Our results revealed that genes and proteins associated with energy production and utilization, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, nitrogen fixation, and replication and recombination were upregulated under 2% O2. The metabolic map developed for TAV2 indicates that this microorganism may be involved in biological nitrogen fixation, amino-acid production, hemicellulose degradation and consumption of O2 in the termite hindgut. Variation of O2 concentration explained 55.9% of the variance in proteomic profiles, suggesting an adaptive evolution of TAV2 to the hypoxic periphery of the hindgut. Our findings advance the current understanding of microaerophilic microorganisms in the termite gut and expand our understanding of the ecological roles for members of the phylum Verrucomicrobia.The ISME Journal advance online publication, 9 May 2013; doi:10.1038/ismej.2013.74.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbes play a key role in mediating aquatic biogeochemical cycles. However, our understanding of the relationships between microbial phylogenetic/physiological diversity and habitat physico-chemical characteristics is restrained by our limited capacity to collect co-registered microbial and geochemical sampling at appropriate spatial and temporal scales. Accordingly, we have developed a low-cost, continuous fluid sampling system (the Biological OsmoSampling System, or BOSS) to address this limitation. The BOSS does not use electricity, can be deployed in harsh/remote environments, and collects/preserves samples with daily resolution for > 1 year. Here we present data on the efficacy of DNA and protein preservation during a 1.5-year laboratory study, as well as the results of two field deployments at deep-sea hydrothermal vents, wherein we examined changes in microbial diversity, protein expression and geochemistry over time. Our data reveal marked changes in microbial composition co-occurring with changes in hydrothermal fluid composition, and reveal the temporal dynamics of an enigmatic sulfide-oxidizing symbiont in its free-living state. We also present the first data on in situ protein preservation and expression dynamics, highlighting the potential of BOSS for meta-proteomic studies. These data illustrate the value of using BOSS to study relationships among microbial and geochemical phenomena, and environmental conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
MultiAlign is a free software tool that aligns multiple liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry datasets to one another by clustering mass and chromatographic elution features across datasets. Applicable to both label-free proteomics and metabolomics comparative analyses, the software can be operated in several modes. For example, clustered features can be matched to a reference database to identify analytes, used to generate abundance profiles, linked to tandem mass spectra based on parent precursor masses, and culled for targeted liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometric analysis. MultiAlign is also capable of tandem mass spectral clustering to describe proteome structure and find similarity in subsequent sample runs.
MultiAlign was applied to two large proteomics datasets obtained from liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry analyses of environmental samples. Peptides in the datasets for a microbial community that had a known metagenome were identified by matching mass and elution time features to those in an established reference peptide database. Results compared favorably with those obtained using existing tools such as VIPER, but with the added benefit of being able to trace clusters of peptides across conditions to existing tandem mass spectra. MultiAlign was further applied to detect clusters across experimental samples derived from a reactor biomass community for which no metagenome was available. Several clusters were culled for further analysis to explore changes in the community structure. Lastly, MultiAlign was applied to liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry-based datasets obtained from a previously published study of wild type and mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation enzyme knockdown mutants of human hepatocarcinoma to demonstrate its utility for analyzing metabolomics datasets.
MultiAlign is an efficient software package for finding similar analytes across multiple liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry feature maps, as demonstrated here for both proteomics and metabolomics experiments. The software is particularly useful for proteomic studies where little or no genomic context is known, such as with environmental proteomics.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · BMC Bioinformatics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cultures of the cyanobacterial genus Cyanothece have been shown to produce high levels of biohydrogen. These strains are diazotrophic and undergo pronounced diurnal cycles
when grown under N2-fixing conditions in light-dark cycles. We seek to better understand the way in which proteins respond to these diurnal changes,
and we performed quantitative proteome analysis of Cyanothece sp. strains ATCC 51142 and PCC 7822 grown under 8 different nutritional conditions. Nitrogenase expression was limited to
N2-fixing conditions, and in the absence of glycerol, nitrogenase gene expression was linked to the dark period. However, glycerol
induced expression of nitrogenase during part of the light period, together with cytochrome c oxidase (Cox), glycogen phosphorylase (Glp), and glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) enzymes. This indicated that
nitrogenase expression in the light was facilitated via higher levels of respiration and glycogen breakdown. Key enzymes of
the Calvin cycle were inhibited in Cyanothece ATCC 51142 in the presence of glycerol under H2-producing conditions, suggesting a competition between these sources of carbon. However, in Cyanothece PCC 7822, the Calvin cycle still played a role in cofactor recycling during H2 production. Our data comprise the first comprehensive profiling of proteome changes in Cyanothece PCC 7822 and allow an in-depth comparative analysis of major physiological and biochemical processes that influence H2 production in both strains. Our results revealed many previously uncharacterized proteins that may play a role in nitrogenase
activity and in other metabolic pathways and may provide suitable targets for genetic manipulation that would lead to improvement
of large-scale H2 production.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2013 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cultures of the cyanobacterial genus Cyanothece have been shown to produce high levels of biohydrogen. These strains are diazotrophic and undergo pronounced diurnal cycles when grown under N(2)-fixing conditions in light-dark cycles. We seek to better understand the way in which proteins respond to these diurnal changes and we performed quantitative proteome analysis of Cyanothece ATCC 51142 and PCC 7822 grown under 8 different nutritional conditions. Nitrogenase expression was limited to N(2)-fixing conditions, and in the absence of glycerol, nitrogenase gene expression was linked to the dark period. However, glycerol induced expression of nitrogenase during part of the light period, together with cytochrome c oxidase (Cox), glycogen phosphorylase (Glp), and glycolytic and pentose-phosphate pathway (PPP) enzymes. This indicated that nitrogenase expression in the light was facilitated via higher respiration and glycogen breakdown. Key enzymes of the Calvin cycle were inhibited in Cyanothece ATCC 51142 in the presence of glycerol under H(2) producing conditions, suggesting a competition between these sources of carbon. However, in Cyanothece PCC 7822, the Calvin cycle still played a role in cofactor recycling during H(2) production. Our data comprise the first comprehensive profiling of proteome changes in Cyanothece PCC 7822, and allows an in-depth comparative analysis of major physiological and biochemical processes that influence H(2)-production in both strains. Our results revealed many previously uncharacterized proteins that may play a role in nitrogenase activity and in other metabolic pathways and may provide suitable targets for genetic manipulation that would lead to improvement of large scale H(2) production.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2012 · Applied and Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Microbial glycoside hydrolases play a dominant role in the biochemical conversion of cellulosic biomass to high-value biofuels. Anaerobic cellulolytic bacteria are capable of producing multicomplex catalytic subunits containing cell-adherent cellulases, hemicellulases, xylanases, and other glycoside hydrolases to facilitate the degradation of highly recalcitrant cellulose and other related plant cell wall polysaccharides. Clostridium thermocellum is a cellulosome producing bacterium that couples rapid reproduction rates to highly efficient degradation of crystalline cellulose. Herein, we have developed and applied a suite of difluoromethylphenyl aglycone, N-halogenated glycosylamine, and 2-deoxy-2-fluoroglycoside activity-based protein profiling (ABPP) probes to the direct labeling of the C. thermocellum cellulosomal secretome. These activity-based probes (ABPs) were synthesized with alkynes to harness the utility and multimodal possibilities of click chemistry, and to increase enzyme active site inclusion for LC-MS analysis. We directly analyzed ABP-labeled and unlabeled global MS data, revealing ABP selectivity for glycoside hydrolase (GH) enzymes in addition to a large collection of integral cellulosome-containing proteins. By identifying reactivity and selectivity profiles for each ABP, we demonstrate our ability to widely profile the functional cellulose degrading machinery of the bacterium. Derivatization of the ABPs, including reactive groups, acetylation of the glycoside binding groups, and mono- and disaccharide binding groups, resulted in considerable variability in protein labeling. Our probe suite is applicable to aerobic and anaerobic cellulose degrading systems, and facilitates a greater understanding of the organismal role associated within biofuel development.
No preview · Article · Nov 2012 · Journal of the American Chemical Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chloroflexus aurantiacus J-10-fl is a thermophilic green bacterium, a filamentous anoxygenic phototroph, and the model organism of the phylum Chloroflexi. We applied high-throughput, liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in a global quantitative proteomics investigation of C. aurantiacus cells grown under oxic (chemoorganoheterotrophically) and anoxic (photoorganoheterotrophically) redox states. Our global analysis identified 13,524 high-confidence peptides that matched to 1,286 annotated proteins, 242 of which were either uniquely identified or significantly increased in abundance under photoheterotrophic culture condition. Fifty-four of the 242 proteins are previously characterized photosynthesis-related proteins, including chlorosome proteins, proteins involved in the bacteriochlorophyll biosynthesis, 3-hydroxypropionate (3-OHP) CO(2) fixation pathway, and components of electron transport chains. The remaining 188 proteins have not previously been reported. Of these, five proteins were found to be encoded by genes from a novel operon and observed only in photoheterotrophically grown cells. These proteins candidates may prove useful in further deciphering the phototrophic physiology of C. aurantiacus and other filamentous anoxygenic phototrophs.
No preview · Article · Feb 2012 · Photosynthesis Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We report the development of a novel high performance computing method for the identification of proteins from unknown (environmental) samples. The method uses computational optimization to provide an effective way to control the false discovery rate for environmental samples and complements de novo peptide sequencing. Furthermore, the method provides information based on the expressed protein in a microbial community, and thus complements DNA-based identification methods. Testing on blind samples demonstrates that the method provides 79-95% overlap with analogous results from searches involving only the correct genomes. We provide scaling and performance evaluations for the software that demonstrate the ability to carry out large-scale optimizations on 1258 genomes containing 4.2M proteins.
Preview · Article · Jan 2012 · Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing. Pacific Symposium on Biocomputing