Isolation, nucleotide sequence, and preliminary characterization of the Escherichia coli K-12 hemA gene.
ABSTRACT: The Escherichia coli hemA gene, essential for the synthesis of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), was isolated and sequenced. The following criteria identified the cloned gene as hemA. (i) The gene complemented a hemA mutation of E. coli. (ii) The gene was localized to approximately 26.7 min on the E. coli chromosomal linkage map, consistent with the location of the mapped hemA locus. Furthermore, DNA sequence analysis established that the cloned gene lay directly upstream of prfA, which encodes polypeptide chain release factor 1. (iii) Deletion of the gene resulted in a concomitant requirement for ALA. The hemA gene directed the synthesis of a 46-kilodalton polypeptide in maxicell experiments, as predicted by the coding sequence. The DNA and deduced amino acid sequences of the E. coli hemA gene displayed no detectable similarity to the ALA synthase sequences which have been characterized from a variety of organisms, but are very similar to the cloned Salmonella typhimurium hemA sequences (T. Elliott, personal communication). Results of S1 nuclease protection experiments showed that the hemA mRNA appeared to have two different 5' ends and that a nonoverlapping divergent transcript was present upstream of the putative distal hemA transcriptional start site.
Project description:The first step in heme biosynthesis is the formation of 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA). Mutations in two genes, hemA and hemL, result in auxotrophy for ALA in Salmonella typhimurium, but the roles played by these genes and the mechanism of ALA synthesis are not understood. I have cloned and sequenced the S. typhimurium hemA gene. The predicted polypeptide sequence for the HemA protein shows no similarity to known ALA synthases, and no ALA synthase activity was detected in extracts prepared from strains carrying the cloned hemA gene. Genetic analysis, DNA sequencing of amber mutations, and maxicell studies proved that the open reading frame identified in the DNA sequence encodes HemA. Another surprising finding of this study is that hemA lies directly upstream of prfA, which encodes peptide chain release factor 1 (RF-1). A hemA::Kan insertion mutation, constructed in vitro, was transferred to the chromosome and used to show that these two genes form an operon. The hemA gene ends with an amber codon, recognized by RF-1. I suggest a model for autogenous control of prfA expression by translation reinitiation.
Project description:The nucleotide sequences of the Rhodobacter sphaeroides hemA and hemT genes, encoding 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) synthase isozymes, were determined. ALA synthase catalyzes the condensation of glycine and succinyl coenzyme A, the first and rate-limiting step in tetrapyrrole biosynthesis. The hemA and hemT structural gene sequences were 65% identical to each other, and the deduced HemA and HemT polypeptide sequences were 53% identical, with an additional 16% of aligned amino acids being similar. HemA and HemT were homologous to all characterized ALA synthases, including two human ALA synthase isozymes. In addition, they were evolutionarily related to 7-keto-8-aminopelargonic acid synthetase (BioF) and 2-amino-3-ketobutyrate coenzyme A ligase (Kbl), enzymes which catalyze similar reactions. Two hemA transcripts were identified, both expressed under photosynthetic conditions at levels approximately three times higher than those found under aerobic conditions. A single transcriptional start point was identified for both transcripts, and a consensus sequence at this location indicated that an Fnr-like protein may be involved in the transcriptional regulation of hemA. Transcription of hemT was not detected in wild-type cells under the physiological growth conditions tested. In a mutant strain in which the hemA gene had been inactivated, however, hemT was expressed. In this mutant, hemT transcripts were characterized by Northern (RNA) hybridization, primer extension, and ribonuclease protection techniques. A small open reading frame of unknown function was identified upstream of, and transcribed in the same direction as, hemA.
Project description:In Salmonella typhimurium and Escherichia coli, the hemA gene encodes the enzyme glutamyl-tRNA reductase, which catalyzes the first committed step in the heme biosynthetic pathway. It has recently been reported that a lac operon fusion to the hemA promoter of E. coli is induced 20-fold after starvation for heme. Induction was dependent on the transcriptional regulator ArcA, with a second transcriptional regulator, FNR, playing a negative role specifically under anaerobic conditions (S. Darie and R. P. Gunsalus, J. Bacteriol. 176:5270-5276, 1994). We have investigated the generality of this effect by examining the response to heme starvation of a number of lac operon fusions to the hemA promoters of both E. coli and S. typhimurium. We confirmed that such fusions are induced during starvation of a hemA auxotroph, but the level of induction observed was maximally sixfold and for S. typhimurium fusions it was only two- to fourfold. Sequences required for high-level expression of hemA lie within 129 bp upstream of the major (P1) promoter transcriptional start site. Mutants defective in the P1 promoter had greatly reduced hemA-lac expression both in the presence and in the absence of ALA. Mutations in arcA had no effect on hemA-lac expression in E. coli during normal growth, although the increase in expression during starvation for ALA was half that seen in an arcA+ strain. Overexpression of the arcA gene had no effect on hemA-lac expression. Primer extension analysis showed that RNA 5' ends mapping to the hemA P1 and P2 promoters were not expressed at significantly higher levels in induced cultures. These results differ from those previously reported.
Project description:The general tetrapyrrole precursor 5-aminolevulinic acid is formed in bacteria via two different biosynthetic pathways. Members of the alpha group of the proteobacteria use 5-aminolevulinic acid synthase for the condensation of succinyl-coenzyme A and glycine, while other bacteria utilize a two-step pathway from aminoacylated tRNA(Glu). The tRNA-dependent pathway, involving the enzymes glutamyl-tRNA reductase (encoded by hemA) and glutamate-1-semialdehyde-2,1-aminomutase (encoded by hemL), was demonstrated to be used by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Pseudomonas putida, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Comamonas testosteroni, Azotobacter vinelandii, and Acinetobacter calcoaceticus. To study the regulation of the pathway, the glutamyl-tRNA reductase gene (hemA) from P. aeruginosa was cloned by complementation of an Escherichia coli hemA mutant. The hemA gene was mapped to the SpeI A fragment and the DpnIL fragment of the P. aeruginosa chromosome corresponding to min 24.1 to 26.8. The cloned hemA gene, coding for a protein of 423 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 46,234 Da, forms an operon with the gene for protein release factor 1 (prf1). This translational factor mediates the termination of the protein chain at the ribosome at amber and ochre codons. Since the cloned hemA gene did not possess one of the appropriate stop codons, an autoregulatory mechanism such as that postulated for the enterobacterial system was ruled out. Three open reading frames of unknown function transcribed in the opposite direction to the hemA gene were found. hemM/orf1 and orf2 were found to be homologous to open reading frames located in the 5' region of enterobacterial hemA genes. Utilization of both transcription start sites was changed in a P. aeruginosa mutant missing the oxygen regulator Anr (Fnr analog), indicating the involvement of the transcription factor in hemA expression. DNA sequences homologous to one half of an Anr binding site were detected at one of the determined transcription start sites.
Project description:A 3.8-kilobase DNA fragment from Bacillus subtilis containing the hemA gene has been cloned and sequenced. Four open reading frames were identified. The first is hemA, encoding a protein of 50.8 kilodaltons. The primary defect of a B. subtilis 5-aminolevulinic acid-requiring mutant was identified as a cysteine-to-tyrosine substitution in the HemA protein. The predicted amino acid sequence of the B. subtilis HemA protein showed 34% identity with the Escherichia coli HemA protein, which is known to code for the NAD(P)H:glutamyl-tRNA reductase of the C5 pathway for 5-aminolevulinic acid synthesis. The B. subtilis HemA protein also complements the defect of an E. coli hemA mutant. The second open reading frame in the cloned fragment, called ORF2, codes for a protein of about 30 kilodaltons with unknown function. It is not the proposed hemB gene product porphobilinogen synthase. The third open reading frame is hemC, coding for porphobilinogen deaminase. The fourth open reading frame extends past the sequenced fragment and may be identical to hemD, coding for uroporphyrinogen III cosynthase. Analysis of deletion mutants of the hemA region suggests that (at least) hemA, ORF2, and hemC may be part of an operon.
Project description:The common precursor to all tetrapyrroles is 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), and in Rhodobacter sphaeroides its formation occurs via the Shemin pathway. ALA synthase activity is encoded by two differentially regulated genes in R. sphaeroides 2.4.1: hemA and hemT. In our investigations of hemA regulation, we applied transposon mutagenesis under aerobic conditions, followed by a selection that identified transposon insertion mutants in which hemA expression is elevated. One of these mutants has been characterized previously (J. Zeilstra-Ryalls and S. Kaplan, J. Bacteriol. 178:985-993, 1996), and here we describe our analysis of a second mutant strain. The transposon inserted into the coding sequences of hbdA, coding for S-(+)-beta-hydroxybutyryl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase and catalyzing an NAD-dependent reaction. We provide evidence that the hbdA gene product participates in polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB) metabolism and, based on our findings, we discuss possibilities as to how defective PHB metabolism might alter the level of hemA expression.
Project description:Plants, algae and most bacteria synthesize 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA), the universal precursor of tetrapyrroles such as heme, chlorophyll and coenzyme B<sub>12</sub>, by a two-step transformation involving the NADPH-dependent glutamyl-tRNA reductase (HemA), which reduces tRNA-bound glutamate to glutamate-1-semialdehyde (GSA), and the pyridoxamine 5'-phosphate-dependent glutamate-1-semialdehyde-2,1-aminomutase (HemL), responsible for the isomerization of GSA into ALA. Since GSA is a very unstable compound at pH values around neutrality, the formation of a HemA-HemL complex has been proposed to occur, allowing for direct channeling of this intermediate from HemA to HemL. Experimental evidence of the formation of this complex has been obtained with the enzymes from <i>Escherichia coli</i> and <i>Chlamydomonas reinhardtii</i>. However, its isolation has never been attained, probably because HemA is degraded when intracellular heme accumulates. In this work, we devised a co-expression and co-purification strategy of HemA and HemL from <i>Acinetobacter baumannii</i>, which allowed the isolation of the HemA-HemL complex. Our results indicate that HemA is stabilized when co-expressed with HemL. The addition of citrate throughout the expression and purification procedure further promotes the formation of the HemA-HemL complex, which can be isolated in fair amount for functional and structural studies. This work lays the bases for a rational design of HemA-HemA inhibitors to be developed as antibacterial agents against <i>A. baumannii</i>, a multidrug resistant opportunistic pathogen responsible for a broad range of severe nosocomial infections.
Project description:The Bacillus subtilis hemAXCDBL operon encodes enzymes for the synthesis of 5-aminolaevuline acid via the C5 pathway (hemA and hemL) and uroporphyrinogen III (hemB, hemC and hemD). B. subtilis HemA protein (molecular mass 50 kDa) was overexpressed in hemA mutant of both Escherichia coli and B. subtilis. A mutant B. subtilis HemA protein with a Cys to Tyr change at position 105 was also overexpressed. Both wild-type and mutant HemA proteins migrated as oligomers (molecular mass greater than or equal to 230 kDa) on gel-filtration columns. All column fractions containing wild-type HemA protein had glutamyl-tRNA reductase activity. No glutamyl-tRNA reductase activity was found with the mutant HemA protein. It is concluded that the B. subtilis hemA gene product is identical to, or part of, the glutamyl-tRNA reductase of the C5 pathway.
Project description:Salmonella typhimurium forms the heme precursor delta-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) exclusively from glutamate via the five-carbon pathway, which also occurs in plants and some bacteria including Escherichia coli, rather than by ALA synthase-catalyzed condensation of glycine and succinyl-coenzyme A, which occurs in yeasts, fungi, animal cells, and some bacteria including Bradyrhizobium japonicum and Rhodobacter capsulatus. ALA-auxotrophic hemL mutant S. typhimurium cells are deficient in glutamate-1-semialdehyde (GSA) aminotransferase, the enzyme that catalyzes the last step of ALA synthesis via the five-carbon pathway. hemL cells transformed with a plasmid containing the S. typhimurium hemL gene did not require ALA for growth and had GSA aminotransferase activity. Growth in the presence of ALA did not appreciably affect the level of extractable GSA aminotransferase activity in wild-type cells or in hemL cells transformed with the hemL plasmid. These results indicate that GSA aminotransferase activity is required for in vivo ALA biosynthesis from glutamate. In contrast, extracts of both wild-type and hemL cells had gamma,delta-dioxovalerate aminotransferase activity, which indicates that this reaction is not catalyzed by GSA aminotransferase and that the enzyme is not encoded by the hemL gene. The S. typhimurium hemL gene was sequenced and determined to contain an open reading frame of 426 codons encoding a 45.3-kDa polypeptide. The sequence of the hemL gene bears no recognizable similarity to the hemA gene of S. typhimurium or E. coli, which encodes glutamyl-tRNA reductase, or to the hemA genes of B. japonicum or R. capsulatus, which encode ALA synthase. The predicted hemL gene product does show greater than 50% identity to barley GSA aminotransferase over its entire length. Sequence similarity to other aminotransferases was also detected.
Project description:We report the results of cloning genes for two key biosynthetic enzymes of different 5-aminolevulinic acid (ALA) biosynthetic routes from Streptomyces. The genes encode the glutamyl-tRNAGlu reductase (GluTR) of the C5 pathway and the ALA synthase (ALAS) of the Shemin pathway. While Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2) synthesizes ALA via the C5 route, both pathways are operational in Streptomyces nodosus subsp. asukaensis, a producer of asukamycin. In this strain, the C5 route produces ALA for tetrapyrrole biosynthesis; the ALA formed by the Shemin pathway serves as a precursor of the 2-amino-3-hydroxycyclopent-2-enone moiety (C5N unit), an antibiotic component. The growth of S. nodosus and S. coelicolor strains deficient in the GluTR genes (gtr) is strictly dependent on ALA or heme supplementation, whereas the defect in the ALAS-encoding gene (hemA-asuA) abolishes the asukamycin production in S. nodosus. The recombinant hemA-asuA gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and in Streptomyces, and the encoded enzyme activity was demonstrated both in vivo and in vitro. The hemA-asuA gene is situated within a putative cluster of asukamycin biosynthetic genes. This is the first report about the cloning of genes for two different ALA biosynthetic routes from a single bacterium.