[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carbohydrate metabolism plays a crucial role in the ecophysiology of human gut microbiota. Mechanisms of transcriptional regulation
of sugar catabolism in commensal and prevalent human gut bacteria such as Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron remain mostly unknown. By a combination of bioinformatics and experimental approaches, we have identified an NrtR family
transcription factor (BT0354 in B. thetaiotaomicron, BtAraR) as a novel regulator controlling the arabinose utilization genes. L-arabinose was confirmed to be a negative effector
of BtAraR. We have solved the crystal structures of the apo and L-arabinose-bound BtAraR proteins, as well as the complex
of apo-protein with a specific DNA operator. BtAraR forms a homodimer with each subunit comprised of the ligand-binding Nudix
hydrolase-like domain and the DNA-binding winged-helix-turn-helix (wHTH) domain. We have identified the residues involved
in binding of L-arabinose and recognition of DNA. The majority of these residues are well conserved in the AraR orthologs
in Bacteroidetes. In the structure of the BtAraR–DNA complex, we found the unique interaction of arginine intercalating its guanidinum moiety
into the base pair stacking of B-DNA. L-arabinose binding induces movement of wHTH domains, resulting in a conformation unsuitable
for DNA binding. Our analysis facilitates reconstruction of the metabolic and regulatory networks involved in carbohydrate
utilization in human gut Bacteroides.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2015 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autotrophic microorganisms are able to utilize carbon dioxide as their only carbon source, or, alternatively, many of them can grow heterotrophically on organics. Different variants of autotrophic pathways have been identified in various lineages of the phylum Crenarchaeota. Aerobic members of the order Sulfolobales utilize the hydroxypropionate-hydroxybutyrate cycle (HHC) to fix inorganic carbon, whereas anaerobic Thermoproteales use the dicarboxylate-hydroxybutyrate cycle (DHC). Knowledge of transcriptional regulation of autotrophic pathways in Archaea is limited. We applied a comparative genomics approach to predict novel autotrophic regulons in the Crenarchaeota. We report identification of two novel DNA motifs associated with the autotrophic pathway genes in the Sulfolobales (HHC box) and Thermoproteales (DHC box). Based on genome context evidence, the HHC box regulon was attributed to a novel transcription factor from the TrmB family named HhcR. Orthologs of HhcR are present in all Sulfolobales genomes but were not found in other lineages. A predicted HHC box regulatory motif was confirmed by in vitro binding assays with the recombinant HhcR protein from Metallosphaera yellowstonensis. For the DHC box regulon, we assigned a different potential regulator, named DhcR, which is restricted to the order Thermoproteales. DhcR in Thermoproteus neutrophilus (Tneu_0751) was previously identified as a DNA-binding protein with high affinity for the promoter regions of two autotrophic operons. The global HhcR and DhcR regulons reconstructed by comparative genomics were reconciled with available omics data in Metallosphaera and Thermoproteus spp. The identified regulons constitute two novel mechanisms for transcriptional control of autotrophic pathways in the Crenarchaeota.
No preview · Article · May 2015 · Journal of bacteriology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Unlabelled:
Mycobacterium tuberculosis remains a major cause of death due to the lack of treatment accessibility, HIV coinfection, and drug resistance. Development of new drugs targeting previously unexplored pathways is essential to shorten treatment time and eliminate persistent M. tuberculosis. A promising biochemical pathway which may be targeted to kill both replicating and nonreplicating M. tuberculosis is the biosynthesis of NAD(H), an essential cofactor in multiple reactions crucial for respiration, redox balance, and biosynthesis of major building blocks. NaMN adenylyltransferase (NadD) and NAD synthetase (NadE), the key enzymes of NAD biosynthesis, were selected as promising candidate drug targets for M. tuberculosis. Here we report for the first time kinetic characterization of the recombinant purified NadD enzyme, setting the stage for its structural analysis and inhibitor development. A protein knockdown approach was applied to validate bothNadD and NadE as target enzymes. Induced degradation of either target enzyme showed a strong bactericidal effect which coincided with anticipated changes in relative levels of NaMN and NaAD intermediates (substrates of NadD and NadE, respectively) and ultimate depletion of the NAD(H) pool. A metabolic catastrophe predicted as a likely result of NAD(H) deprivation of cellular metabolism was confirmed by (13)C biosynthetic labeling followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) analysis. A sharp suppression of metabolic flux was observed in multiple NAD(P)(H)-dependent pathways, including synthesis of many amino acids (serine, proline, aromatic amino acids) and fatty acids. Overall, these results provide strong validation of the essential NAD biosynthetic enzymes, NadD and NadE, as antimycobacterial drug targets.
To address the problems of M. tuberculosis drug resistance and persistence of tuberculosis, new classes of drug targets need to be explored. The biogenesis of NAD cofactors was selected for target validation because of their indispensable role in driving hundreds of biochemical transformations. We hypothesized that the disruption of NAD production in the cell via genetic suppression of the essential enzymes (NadD and NadE) involved in the last two steps of NAD biogenesis would lead to cell death, even under dormancy conditions. In this study, we confirmed the hypothesis using a protein knockdown approach in the model system of Mycobacterium smegmatis. We showed that induced proteolytic degradation of either target enzyme leads to depletion of the NAD cofactor pool, which suppresses metabolic flux through numerous NAD(P)-dependent pathways of central metabolism of carbon and energy production. Remarkably, bactericidal effect was observed even for nondividing bacteria cultivated under carbon starvation conditions.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteria from the Chloroflexi phylum are dominant members of phototrophic microbial mat communities in terrestrial thermal environments. Vitamins of B-group are key intermediates (precursors) in the biosynthesis of indispensable enzyme cofactors driving numerous metabolic processes in all forms of life. A genomics-based reconstruction and comparative analysis of respective biosynthetic and salvage pathways and riboswitch regulons in over 20 representative Chloroflexi genomes revealed a widespread auxotrophy for some of the vitamins. The most prominent predicted phenotypic signature, auxotrophy for vitamins B1 and B7 was experimentally confirmed for the best studied model organism Chloroflexus aurantiacus. These observations along with identified candidate genes for the respective uptake transporters pointed to B vitamin cross-feeding as an important aspect of syntrophic metabolism in microbial communities. Inferred specificities of homologous substrate-binding components of ABC transporters for vitamins B1 (ThiY) and B2 (RibY) were verified by thermofluorescent shift approach. A functional activity of the thiamine-specific transporter ThiXYZ from C. aurantiacus was experimentally verified by genetic complementation in E. coli. Expanding the integrative approach, which was applied here for a comprehensive analysis of B-vitamin metabolism in Chloroflexi would allow reconstruction of metabolic interdependencies in microbial communities.
No preview · Article · Oct 2014 · Environmental Microbiology Reports
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The NrtR family of bacterial transcription factors is characterized by an N-terminal Nudix hydrolase-like effector binding domain and a C-terminal DNA binding domain. A bioinformatics analysis of the NrtR family represented by uncharacterized protein BT0354 in Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron suggests that these regulators control the catabolic pathways for L-arabinose. Many bacteria use L-arabinose as the sole source of carbon energy. The L-arabinose utilization pathway and its transcriptional regulation have been studied for a long time in several model microorganisms. Here we provide biochemical and structural characterization of the novel arabinose-responsive regulator of NrtR family protein BT0354, L-arabinose regulator from B. thetaiotaomicron (BtAraR). The BtAraR DNA binding and the role of effector molecule L-arabinose were confirmed using electrophoretic mobility shift assays. We have solved the crystal structures of BtAraR for two apo forms, and complexes with L-arabinose and double-stranded DNA target. The apo-1 form was solved as two dimers/AU in the R3 space group at 2.35 Å, while the apo-2 form was solved as one monomer/AU in the I213 space group at 2.56 Å resolution. The L-arabinose and DNA complex structures were solved as a dimer/AU in the P21 space group at 1.95 Å resolution and the P23 space group at 3.05 Å resolution, respectively. The biological unit of this protein is a dimer while the N-terminal ligand binding domain of the monomer adopts a Nudix hydrolase-like fold and the C-terminal DNA binding domain is a winged helix-turn-helix. The DNA binding-releasing mechanism can be rationalized through the comparison and analyses of these structures. The apo and DNA bound structures are more similar compared to the L-arabinose-bound structure. The r.m.s. deviation for the apo and DNA bound structures is 1.13 Å, while that for apo and the L-arabinose-bound structures is 4.54 Å. Details about the DNA binding mode, L-arabinose binding and L-arabinose induced structural change will be presented. This work was supported by National Institutes of Health grant GM094585 and by the U. S. Department of Energy, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, under contract DE-AC02-06CH11357.
No preview · Article · Aug 2014 · Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: L-rhamnose (L-Rha) is a deoxy-hexose sugar commonly found in nature. L-Rha catabolic pathways were previously characterized in various bacteria including Escherichia coli. Nevertheless, homology searches failed to recognize all the genes for the complete L-Rha utilization pathways in diverse microbial species involved in biomass decomposition. Moreover, the regulatory mechanisms of L-Rha catabolism have remained unclear in most species. A comparative genomics approach was used to reconstruct the L-Rha catabolic pathways and transcriptional regulons in the phyla Actinobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Firmicutes, Proteobacteria, and Thermotogae. The reconstructed pathways include multiple novel enzymes and transporters involved in the utilization of L-Rha and L-Rha-containing polymers. Large-scale regulon inference using bioinformatics revealed remarkable variations in transcriptional regulators for L-Rha utilization genes among bacteria. A novel bifunctional enzyme, L-rhamnulose-phosphate aldolase (RhaE) fused to L-lactaldehyde dehydrogenase (RhaW), which is not homologous to previously characterized L-Rha catabolic enzymes, was identified in diverse bacteria including Chloroflexi, Bacilli, and Alphaproteobacteria. By using in vitro biochemical assays we validated both enzymatic activities of the purified recombinant RhaEW proteins from Chloroflexus aurantiacus and Bacillus subtilis. Another novel enzyme of the L-Rha catabolism, L-lactaldehyde reductase (RhaZ), was identified in Gammaproteobacteria and experimentally validated by in vitro enzymatic assays using the recombinant protein from Salmonella typhimurium. C. aurantiacus induced transcription of the predicted L-Rha utilization genes when L-Rha was present in the growth medium and consumed L-Rha from the medium. This study provided comprehensive insights to L-Rha catabolism and its regulation in diverse Bacteria.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2013 · Frontiers in Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sulphur is an essential element in the metabolism. The sulphur-containing amino acid methionine is a metabolic precursor for S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), which serves as a coenzyme for ubiquitous methyltrtansferases. Recycling of organic sulphur compounds, e.g. via the SAM cycle, is an important metabolic process that needs to be tightly regulated. Knowledge about transcriptional regulation of these processes is still limited for many free-living bacteria. We identified a novel transcription factor SahR from the ArsR family that controls the SAM cycle genes in diverse microorganisms from soil and aquatic ecosystems. By using comparative genomics, we predicted SahR-binding DNA motifs and reconstructed SahR regulons in the genomes of 62 Proteobacteria. The conserved core of SahR regulons includes all enzymes required for the SAM cycle: the SAH hydrolase AhcY, the methionine biosynthesis enzymes MetE/MetH and MetF, and the SAM synthetase MetK. By using a combination of experimental techniques, we validated the SahR regulon in the sulphate-reducing Deltaproteobacterium Desulfovibrio alaskensis. SahR functions as a negative regulator that responds to the S-adenosylhomocysteine (SAH). The elevated SAH level in the cell dissociates SahR from its DNA operators and induces the expression of SAM cycle genes. The effector-sensing domain in SahR is related to SAM-dependent methylases that are able to tightly bind SAH. SahR represents a novel type of transcriptional regulators for the control of sulphur amino acid metabolism.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Environmental Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hyperthermophilic bacteria from the Thermotogales lineage can produce hydrogen by fermenting a wide range of carbohydrates. Previous experimental studies identified a large fraction of genes committed to carbohydrate degradation and utilization in the model bacterium Thermotoga maritima. Knowledge of these genes enabled comprehensive reconstruction of biochemical pathways comprising the carbohydrate utilization network. However, transcriptional factors (TFs) and regulatory mechanisms driving this network remained largely unknown. Here, we used an integrated approach based on comparative analysis of genomic and transcriptomic data for the reconstruction of the carbohydrate utilization regulatory networks in 11 Thermotogales genomes. We identified DNA-binding motifs and regulons for 19 orthologous TFs in the Thermotogales. The inferred regulatory network in T. maritima contains 181 genes encoding TFs, sugar catabolic enzymes and ABC-family transporters. In contrast to many previously described bacteria, a transcriptional regulation strategy of Thermotoga does not employ global regulatory factors. The reconstructed regulatory network in T. maritima was validated by gene expression profiling on a panel of mono- and disaccharides and by in vitro DNA-binding assays. The observed upregulation of genes involved in catabolism of pectin, trehalose, cellobiose, arabinose, rhamnose, xylose, glucose, galactose, and ribose showed a strong correlation with the UxaR, TreR, BglR, CelR, AraR, RhaR, XylR, GluR, GalR, and RbsR regulons. Ultimately, this study elucidated the transcriptional regulatory network and mechanisms controlling expression of carbohydrate utilization genes in T. maritima. In addition to improving the functional annotations of associated transporters and catabolic enzymes, this research provides novel insights into the evolution of regulatory networks in Thermotogales.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Frontiers in Microbiology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large and functionally heterogeneous families of transcription factors have complex evolutionary histories. What shapes specificities toward effectors and DNA sites in paralogous regulators is a fundamental question in biology. Bacteria from the deep-branching lineage Thermotogae possess multiple paralogs of the repressor, open reading frame, kinase (ROK) family regulators that are characterized by carbohydrate-sensing domains shared with sugar kinases. We applied an integrated genomic approach to study functions and specificities of regulators from this family. A comparative analysis of 11 Thermotogae genomes revealed novel mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of the sugar utilization networks, DNA-binding motifs and specific functions. Reconstructed regulons for seven groups of ROK regulators were validated by DNA-binding assays using purified recombinant proteins from the model bacterium Thermotoga maritima. All tested regulators demonstrated specific binding to their predicted cognate DNA sites, and this binding was inhibited by specific effectors, mono- or disaccharides from their respective sugar catabolic pathways. By comparing ligand-binding domains of regulators with structurally characterized kinases from the ROK family, we elucidated signature amino acid residues determining sugar-ligand regulator specificity. Observed correlations between signature residues and the sugar-ligand specificities provide the framework for structure functional classification of the entire ROK family.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2012 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sugar phosphorylation is an indispensable committed step in a large variety of sugar catabolic pathways, which are major suppliers of carbon and energy in heterotrophic species. Specialized sugar kinases that are indispensable for most of these pathways can be utilized as signature enzymes for the reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery from microbial genomic and metagenomic data. Sugar kinases occur in several structurally distinct families with various partially overlapping as well as yet unknown substrate specificities that often cannot be accurately assigned by homology-based techniques. A subsystems-based metabolic reconstruction combined with the analysis of genome context and followed by experimental testing of predicted gene functions is a powerful approach of functional gene annotation. Here we applied this integrated approach for functional mapping of all sugar kinases constituting an extensive and diverse sugar kinome in the thermophilic bacterium Thermotoga maritima. Substrate preferences of 14 kinases mainly from the FGGY and PfkB families were inferred by bioinformatics analysis and biochemically characterized by screening with a panel of 45 different carbohydrates. Most of the analyzed enzymes displayed narrow substrate preferences corresponding to their predicted physiological roles in their respective catabolic pathways. The observed consistency supports the choice of kinases as signature enzymes for genomics-based identification and reconstruction of sugar utilization pathways. Use of the integrated genomic and experimental approach greatly speeds up the identification of the biochemical function of unknown proteins and improves the quality of reconstructed pathways.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2012 · Journal of bacteriology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Redox-sensing repressor Rex was previously implicated in the control of anaerobic respiration in response to the cellular
NADH/NAD+ levels in Gram-positive bacteria. We utilized the comparative genomics approach to infer candidate Rex-binding DNA motifs
and assess the Rex regulon content in 119 genomes from 11 taxonomic groups. Both DNA-binding and NAD-sensing domains are broadly
conserved in Rex orthologs identified in the phyla Firmicutes, Thermotogales, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Deinococcus-Thermus, and Proteobacteria. The identified DNA-binding motifs showed significant conservation in these species, with the only exception detected in
Clostridia, where the Rex motif deviates in two positions from the generalized consensus, TTGTGAANNNNTTCACAA. Comparative analysis of
candidate Rex sites revealed remarkable variations in functional repertoires of candidate Rex-regulated genes in various microorganisms.
Most of the reconstructed regulatory interactions are lineage specific, suggesting frequent events of gain and loss of regulator
binding sites in the evolution of Rex regulons. We identified more than 50 novel Rex-regulated operons encoding functions
that are essential for resumption of the NADH:NAD+ balance. The novel functional role of Rex in the control of the central carbon metabolism and hydrogen production genes was
validated by in vitro DNA binding assays using the TM0169 protein in the hydrogen-producing bacterium Thermotoga maritima.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2011 · Journal of bacteriology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacteria exploit multiple mechanisms for controlling central carbon metabolism (CCM). Thus, a bioinformatic analysis together with some experimental data implicated the HexR transcriptional factor as a global CCM regulator in some lineages of Gammaproteobacteria operating as a functional replacement of the Cra regulator characteristic of Enterobacteriales. In this study, we combined a large scale comparative genomic reconstruction of HexR-controlled regulons in 87 species of Proteobacteria with the detailed experimental analysis of the HexR regulatory network in the Shewanella oneidensis model system. Although nearly all of the HexR-controlled genes are associated with CCM, remarkable variations were revealed in the scale (from 1 to 2 target operons in Enterobacteriales up to 20 operons in Aeromonadales) and gene content of HexR regulons between 11 compared lineages. A predicted 17-bp pseudo-palindrome with a consensus tTGTAATwwwATTACa was confirmed as a HexR-binding motif for 15 target operons (comprising 30 genes) by in vitro binding assays. The negative effect of the key CCM intermediate, 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate, on the DNA-regulator complex formation was verified. A dual mode of HexR action on various target promoters, repression of genes involved in catabolic pathways and activation of gluconeogenic genes, was for the first time predicted by the bioinformatic analysis and experimentally verified by changed gene expression pattern in S. oneidensis ΔhexR mutant. Phenotypic profiling revealed the inability of this mutant to grow on lactate or pyruvate as a single carbon source. A comparative metabolic flux analysis of wild-type and mutant strains of S. oneidensis using [(13)C]lactate labeling and GC-MS analysis confirmed the hypothesized HexR role as a master regulator of gluconeogenic flux from pyruvate via the transcriptional activation of phosphoenolpyruvate synthase (PpsA).
No preview · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Biological Chemistry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-scale prediction of gene regulation and reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria is one of the critical tasks of modern genomics. The Shewanella genus is comprised of metabolically versatile gamma-proteobacteria, whose lifestyles and natural environments are substantially different from Escherichia coli and other model bacterial species. The comparative genomics approaches and computational identification of regulatory sites are useful for the in silico reconstruction of transcriptional regulatory networks in bacteria.
To explore conservation and variations in the Shewanella transcriptional networks we analyzed the repertoire of transcription factors and performed genomics-based reconstruction and comparative analysis of regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The inferred regulatory network includes 82 transcription factors and their DNA binding sites, 8 riboswitches and 6 translational attenuators. Forty five regulons were newly inferred from the genome context analysis, whereas others were propagated from previously characterized regulons in the Enterobacteria and Pseudomonas spp.. Multiple variations in regulatory strategies between the Shewanella spp. and E. coli include regulon contraction and expansion (as in the case of PdhR, HexR, FadR), numerous cases of recruiting non-orthologous regulators to control equivalent pathways (e.g. PsrA for fatty acid degradation) and, conversely, orthologous regulators to control distinct pathways (e.g. TyrR, ArgR, Crp).
We tentatively defined the first reference collection of ~100 transcriptional regulons in 16 Shewanella genomes. The resulting regulatory network contains ~600 regulated genes per genome that are mostly involved in metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, metals, and stress responses. Several reconstructed regulons including NagR for N-acetylglucosamine catabolism were experimentally validated in S. oneidensis MR-1. Analysis of correlations in gene expression patterns helps to interpret the reconstructed regulatory network. The inferred regulatory interactions will provide an additional regulatory constrains for an integrated model of metabolism and regulation in S. oneidensis MR-1.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Carbohydrates are a primary source of carbon and energy for many bacteria. Accurate projection of known carbohydrate catabolic pathways across diverse bacteria with complete genomes constitutes a substantial challenge due to frequent variations in components of these pathways. To address a practically and fundamentally important challenge of reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery in any microorganism directly from its genomic sequence, we combined a subsystems-based comparative genomic approach with experimental validation of selected bioinformatic predictions by a combination of biochemical, genetic and physiological experiments.
We applied this integrated approach to systematically map carbohydrate utilization pathways in 19 genomes from the Shewanella genus. The obtained genomic encyclopedia of sugar utilization includes ~170 protein families (mostly metabolic enzymes, transporters and transcriptional regulators) spanning 17 distinct pathways with a mosaic distribution across Shewanella species providing insights into their ecophysiology and adaptive evolution. Phenotypic assays revealed a remarkable consistency between predicted and observed phenotype, an ability to utilize an individual sugar as a sole source of carbon and energy, over the entire matrix of tested strains and sugars.Comparison of the reconstructed catabolic pathways with E. coli identified multiple differences that are manifested at various levels, from the presence or absence of certain sugar catabolic pathways, nonorthologous gene replacements and alternative biochemical routes to a different organization of transcription regulatory networks.
The reconstructed sugar catabolome in Shewanella spp includes 62 novel isofunctional families of enzymes, transporters, and regulators. In addition to improving our knowledge of genomics and functional organization of carbohydrate utilization in Shewanella, this study led to a substantial expansion of our current version of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Carbohydrate Utilization. A systematic and iterative application of this approach to multiple taxonomic groups of bacteria will further enhance it, creating a knowledge base adequate for the efficient analysis of any newly sequenced genome as well as of the emerging metagenomic data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Background Carbohydrates are a primary source of carbon and energy for many bacteria. Accurate projection of known carbohydrate catabolic pathways across diverse bacteria with complete genomes constitutes a substantial challenge due to frequent variations in components of these pathways. To address a practically and fundamentally important challenge of reconstruction of carbohydrate utilization machinery in any microorganism directly from its genomic sequence, we combined a subsystems-based comparative genomic approach with experimental validation of selected bioinformatic predictions by a combination of biochemical, genetic and physiological experiments. Results We applied this integrated approach to systematically map carbohydrate utilization pathways in 19 genomes from the Shewanella genus. The obtained genomic encyclopedia of sugar utilization includes ~170 protein families (mostly metabolic enzymes, transporters and transcriptional regulators) spanning 17 distinct pathways with a mosaic distribution across Shewanella species providing insights into their ecophysiology and adaptive evolution. Phenotypic assays revealed a remarkable consistency between predicted and observed phenotype, an ability to utilize an individual sugar as a sole source of carbon and energy, over the entire matrix of tested strains and sugars. Comparison of the reconstructed catabolic pathways with E. coli identified multiple differences that are manifested at various levels, from the presence or absence of certain sugar catabolic pathways, nonorthologous gene replacements and alternative biochemical routes to a different organization of transcription regulatory networks. Conclusions The reconstructed sugar catabolome in Shewanella spp includes 62 novel isofunctional families of enzymes, transporters, and regulators. In addition to improving our knowledge of genomics and functional organization of carbohydrate utilization in Shewanella, this study led to a substantial expansion of our current version of the Genomic Encyclopedia of Carbohydrate Utilization. A systematic and iterative application of this approach to multiple taxonomic groups of bacteria will further enhance it, creating a knowledge base adequate for the efficient analysis of any newly sequenced genome as well as of the emerging metagenomic data.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The ability to use lactate as a sole source of carbon and energy is one of the key metabolic signatures of Shewanellae, a diverse group of dissimilatory metal-reducing bacteria commonly found in aquatic and sedimentary environments. Nonetheless, homology searches failed to recognize orthologs of previously described bacterial d- or l-lactate oxidizing enzymes (Escherichia coli genes dld and lldD) in any of the 13 analyzed genomes of Shewanella spp. By using comparative genomic techniques, we identified a conserved chromosomal gene cluster in Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 (locus tag: SO_1522-SO_1518) containing lactate permease and candidate genes for both d- and l-lactate dehydrogenase enzymes. The predicted d-LDH gene (dld-II, SO_1521) is a distant homolog of FAD-dependent lactate dehydrogenase from yeast, whereas the predicted l-LDH is encoded by 3 genes with previously unknown functions (lldEGF, SO_1520-SO_1518). Through a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques, we experimentally confirmed the predicted physiological role of these novel genes in S. oneidensis MR-1 and carried out successful functional validation studies in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. We conclusively showed that dld-II and lldEFG encode fully functional d-and l-LDH enzymes, which catalyze the oxidation of the respective lactate stereoisomers to pyruvate. Notably, the S. oneidensis MR-1 LldEFG enzyme is a previously uncharacterized example of a multisubunit lactate oxidase. Comparative analysis of >400 bacterial species revealed the presence of LldEFG and Dld-II in a broad range of diverse species accentuating the potential importance of these previously unknown proteins in microbial metabolism.
Full-text · Article · Feb 2009 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A comparative genomic approach was used to reconstruct transcriptional regulation of NAD biosynthesis in bacteria containing
orthologs of Bacillus subtilis gene yrxA, a previously identified niacin-responsive repressor of NAD de novo synthesis. Members of YrxA family (re-named here NiaR) are broadly conserved in the Bacillus/Clostridium group and in the deeply branching Fusobacteria and Thermotogales lineages. We analyzed upstream regions of genes associated
with NAD biosynthesis to identify candidate NiaR-binding DNA motifs and assess the NiaR regulon content in these species.
Representatives of the two distinct types of candidate NiaR-binding sites, characteristic of the Firmicutes and Thermotogales,
were verified by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay. In addition to transcriptional control of the nadABC genes, the NiaR regulon in some species extends to niacin salvage (the pncAB genes) and includes uncharacterized membrane proteins possibly involved in niacin transport. The involvement in niacin uptake
proposed for one of these proteins (re-named NiaP), encoded by the B. subtilis gene yceI, was experimentally verified. In addition to bacteria, members of the NiaP family are conserved in multicellular eukaryotes,
including human, pointing to possible NaiP involvement in niacin utilization in these organisms. Overall, the analysis of
the NiaR and NrtR regulons (described in the accompanying paper) revealed mechanisms of transcriptional regulation of NAD
metabolism in nearly a hundred diverse bacteria.
Full-text · Article · May 2008 · Nucleic Acids Research
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Members of a novel glycerate-2-kinase (GK-II) family were tentatively identified in a broad range of species, including eukaryotes
and archaea and many bacteria that lack a canonical enzyme of the GarK (GK-I) family. The recently reported three-dimensional
structure of GK-II from Thermotoga maritima (TM1585; PDB code 2b8n) revealed a new fold distinct from other known kinase families. Here, we verified the enzymatic activity
of TM1585, assessed its kinetic characteristics, and used directed mutagenesis to confirm the essential role of the two active-site
residues Lys-47 and Arg-325. The main objective of this study was to apply comparative genomics for the reconstruction of
metabolic pathways associated with GK-II in all bacteria and, in particular, in T. maritima. Comparative analyses of ∼400 bacterial genomes revealed a remarkable variety of pathways that lead to GK-II-driven utilization
of glycerate via a glycolysis/gluconeogenesis route. In the case of T. maritima, a three-step serine degradation pathway was inferred based on the tentative identification of two additional enzymes, serine-pyruvate
aminotransferase and hydroxypyruvate reductase (TM1400 and TM1401, respectively), that convert serine to glycerate via hydroxypyruvate.
Both enzymatic activities were experimentally verified, and the entire pathway was validated by its in vitro reconstitution.
Full-text · Article · Apr 2008 · Journal of bacteriology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Bacterial NadM-Nudix is a bifunctional enzyme containing a nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) adenylyltransferase and an ADP-ribose (ADPR) pyrophosphatase domain. While most members of this enzyme family, such as that from a model cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp., are involved primarily in nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD) salvage/recycling pathways, its close homolog in a category-A biodefense pathogen, Francisella tularensis, likely plays a central role in a recently discovered novel pathway of NAD de novo synthesis. The crystal structures of NadM-Nudix from both species, including their complexes with various ligands and catalytic metal ions, revealed detailed configurations of the substrate binding and catalytic sites in both domains. The structure of the N-terminal NadM domain may be exploited for designing new antitularemia therapeutics. The ADPR binding site in the C-terminal Nudix domain is substantially different from that of Escherichia coli ADPR pyrophosphatase, and is more similar to human NUDT9. The latter observation provided new insights into the ligand binding mode of ADPR-gated Ca2+ channel TRPM2.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Caspases are intracellular proteases that cleave substrates involved in apoptosis or inflammation. In C. elegans, a paradigm for caspase regulation exists in which caspase CED-3 is activated by nucleotide-binding protein CED-4, which is suppressed by Bcl-2-family protein CED-9. We have identified a mammalian analog of this caspase-regulatory system in the NLR-family protein NALP1, a nucleotide-dependent activator of cytokine-processing protease caspase-1, which responds to bacterial ligand muramyl-dipeptide (MDP). Antiapoptotic proteins Bcl-2 and Bcl-X(L) bind and suppress NALP1, reducing caspase-1 activation and interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta) production. When exposed to MDP, Bcl-2-deficient macrophages exhibit more caspase-1 processing and IL-1beta production, whereas Bcl-2-overexpressing macrophages demonstrate less caspase-1 processing and IL-1beta production. The findings reveal an interaction of host defense and apoptosis machinery.