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Issue 4, 2015
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Synthesis of nickel–iron hydrogenase in Cupriavidus metallidurans is controlled by metal-dependent silencing and un-silencing of genomic islands

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Abstract

Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 is able to grow autotrophically as a hydrogen-oxidizing bacterium and produces nickel-dependent hydrogenases, even under heterotrophic conditions. Loss of its two native plasmids resulted in inability of the resulting strain AE104 to synthesize the hydrogenases and to grow autotrophically in phosphate-poor, Tris-buffered mineral salts medium (TMM). Three of eleven previously identified catabolic genomic islands (CMGIs; Van Houdt et al., 2009), two of which harbor the genes for the membrane-bound (CMGI-2) and the soluble hydrogenase (CMGI-3), were silenced in strain AE104 when cultivated in phosphate-poor TMM, explaining its inability to produce hydrogenases. Production of the soluble hydrogenase from the aut region 1 of CMGI-3, and concomitant autotrophic growth, was recovered when the gene for the zinc importer ZupT was deleted in strain AE104. The transcriptome of the ΔzupT mutant exhibited two up-regulated gene regions compared to its parent strain AE104. Expression of the genes in the aut region 1 increased independently of the presence of added zinc. A second gene region was expressed only under metal starvation conditions. This region encoded a TonB-dependent outer membrane protein, a putative metal chaperone plus paralogs of essential zinc-dependent proteins, indicating the presence of a zinc allocation pathway in C. metallidurans. Thus, expression of the genes for the soluble hydrogenase and the Calvin cycle enzymes on aut region 1 of CMGI-3 of C. metallidurans is under global control and needs efficient ZupT-dependent zinc allocation for a regulatory role, which might be discrimination of nickel.

Graphical abstract: Synthesis of nickel–iron hydrogenase in Cupriavidus metallidurans is controlled by metal-dependent silencing and un-silencing of genomic islands

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Publication details

The article was received on 14 Nov 2014, accepted on 19 Feb 2015 and first published on 19 Feb 2015


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00297K
Citation: Metallomics, 2015,7, 632-649
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY-NC license
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    Synthesis of nickel–iron hydrogenase in Cupriavidus metallidurans is controlled by metal-dependent silencing and un-silencing of genomic islands

    M. Herzberg, M. Schüttau, M. Reimers, C. Große, Hans-Günther-Schlegel and D. H. Nies, Metallomics, 2015, 7, 632
    DOI: 10.1039/C4MT00297K

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