Characterization of a novel thermostable carboxylesterase from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 shows the existence of a new carboxylesterase family.
ABSTRACT: The gene GK3045 (741 bp) from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 was cloned, sequenced, and overexpressed into Escherichia coli Rosetta (DE3). The deduced protein was a 30-kDa monomeric esterase with high homology to carboxylesterases from Geobacillus thermoleovorans NY (99% identity) and Geobacillus stearothermophilus (97% identity). This protein suffered a proteolytic cut in E. coli, and the problem was overcome by introducing a mutation in the gene (K212R) without affecting the activity. The resulting Est30 showed remarkable thermostability at 65 degrees C, above the optimum growth temperature of G. kaustophilus HTA426. The optimum pH of the enzyme was 8.0. In addition, the purified enzyme exhibited stability against denaturing agents, like organic solvents, detergents, and urea. The protein catalyzed the hydrolysis of p-nitrophenyl esters of different acyl chain lengths, confirming the esterase activity. The sequence analysis showed that the protein contains a catalytic triad formed by Ser93, Asp192, and His222, and the Ser of the active site is located in the conserved motif Gly91-X-Ser93-X-Gly95 included in most esterases and lipases. However, this carboxylesterase showed no more than 17% sequence identity with the closest members in the eight families of microbial carboxylesterases. The three-dimensional structure was modeled by sequence alignment and compared with others carboxylesterases. The topological differences suggested the classification of this enzyme and other Geobacillus-related carboxylesterases in a new alpha/beta hydrolase family different from IV and VI.
Project description:Thermophiles have important advantages over mesophiles as host organisms for high-temperature bioprocesses, functional production of thermostable enzymes, and efficient expression of enzymatic activities in vivo. To capitalize on these advantages of thermophiles, we describe here a new inducible gene expression system in the thermophile Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426. Six promoter regions in the HTA426 genome were identified and analyzed for expression profiles using ?-galactosidase reporter assay. This analysis identified a promoter region upstream of a putative amylose-metabolizing gene cluster that directed high-level expression of the reporter gene. The expression was >280-fold that without a promoter and was further enhanced 12-fold by maltose addition. In association with a multicopy plasmid, this promoter region was used to express heterologous genes. Several genes, including a gene whose product was insoluble when expressed in Escherichia coli, were successfully expressed as soluble proteins, with yields of 0.16 to 59 mg/liter, and conferred new functions to G. kaustophilus strains. Remarkably, cellulase and ?-amylase genes conferred the ability to degrade cellulose paper and insoluble starch at high temperatures, respectively, generating thermophiles with the potential to degrade plant biomass. Our results demonstrate that this novel expression system expands the potential applications of G. kaustophilus.
Project description:The plasmid pGKE75-catA138T, which comprises pUC18 and the catA138T gene encoding thermostable chloramphenicol acetyltransferase with an A138T amino acid replacement (CATA138T), serves as an Escherichia coli-Geobacillus kaustophilus shuttle plasmid that confers moderate chloramphenicol resistance on G. kaustophilus HTA426. The present study examined the thermoadaptation-directed mutagenesis of pGKE75-catA138T in an error-prone thermophile, generating the mutant plasmid pGKE75(??)-catA138T responsible for substantial chloramphenicol resistance at 65°C. pGKE75(??)-catA138T contained no mutation in the catA138T gene but had two mutations in the pUC replicon, even though the replicon has no apparent role in G. kaustophilus. Biochemical characterization suggested that the efficient chloramphenicol resistance conferred by pGKE75(??)-catA138T is attributable to increases in intracellular CATA138T and acetyl-coenzyme A following a decrease in incomplete forms of pGKE75(??)-catA138T. The decrease in incomplete plasmids may be due to optimization of plasmid replication by RNA species transcribed from the mutant pUC replicon, which were actually produced in G. kaustophilus. It is noteworthy that G. kaustophilus was transformed with pGKE75(??)-catA138T using chloramphenicol selection at 60°C. In addition, a pUC18 derivative with the two mutations propagated in E. coli at a high copy number independently of the culture temperature and high plasmid stability. Since these properties have not been observed in known plasmids, the outcomes extend the genetic toolboxes for G. kaustophilus and E. coli.
Project description:Counterselection systems facilitate marker-free genetic modifications in microbes by enabling positive selections for both the introduction of a marker gene into the microbe and elimination of the marker from the microbe. Here we report a counterselection system for Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426, established through simultaneous disruption of the pyrF and pyrR genes. The pyrF gene, essential for pyrimidine biosynthesis and metabolization of 5-fluoroorotic acid (5-FOA) to toxic metabolites, was disrupted by homologous recombination. The resultant MK54 strain (?pyrF) was auxotrophic for uracil and resistant to 5-FOA. MK54 complemented with pyrF was prototrophic for uracil but insensitive to 5-FOA in the presence of uracil. To confer 5-FOA sensitivity, the pyrR gene encoding an attenuator to repress pyrimidine biosynthesis by sensing uracil derivatives was disrupted. The resultant MK72 strain (?pyrF ?pyrR) was auxotrophic for uracil and resistant to 5-FOA. MK72 complemented with pyrF was prototrophic for uracil and 5-FOA sensitive even in the presence of uracil. The results suggested that pyrF could serve as a counterselection marker in MK72, which was demonstrated by efficient marker-free integrations of heterologous ?-galactosidase and ?-amylase genes. The integrated genes were functionally expressed in G. kaustophilus and conferred new functions on the thermophile. This report describes the first establishment of a pyrF-based counterselection system in a Bacillus-related bacterium, along with the first demonstration of homologous recombination and heterologous gene expression in G. kaustophilus. Our results also suggest a new strategy for establishment of counterselection systems.
Project description:Enzyme promiscuity is a prerequisite for fast divergent evolution of biocatalysts. A phosphotriesterase-like lactonase (PLL) from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 (GkaP) exhibits main lactonase and promiscuous phosphotriesterase activities. To understand its catalytic and evolutionary mechanisms, we investigated a "hot spot" in the active site by saturation mutagenesis as well as X-ray crystallographic analyses. We found that position 99 in the active site was involved in substrate discrimination. One mutant, Y99L, exhibited 11-fold improvement over wild-type in reactivity (kcat/Km) toward the phosphotriesterase substrate ethyl-paraoxon, but showed 15-fold decrease toward the lactonase substrate ?-decanolactone, resulting in a 157-fold inversion of the substrate specificity. Structural analysis of Y99L revealed that the mutation causes a ?6.6 Å outward shift of adjacent loop 7, which may cause increased flexibility of the active site and facilitate accommodation and/or catalysis of organophosphate substrate. This study provides for the PLL family an example of how the evolutionary route from promiscuity to specificity can derive from very few mutations, which promotes alteration in the conformational adjustment of the active site loops, in turn draws the capacity of substrate binding and activity.
Project description:The conserved, ATP-dependent bacterial DnaK chaperones process client substrates with the aid of the co-chaperones DnaJ and GrpE. However, in the absence of structural information, how these proteins communicate with each other cannot be fully delineated. For the study reported here, we solved the crystal structure of a full-length Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 GrpE homodimer in complex with a nearly full-length G. kaustophilus HTA426 DnaK that contains the interdomain linker (acting as a pseudo-substrate), and the N-terminal nucleotide-binding and C-terminal substrate-binding domains at 4.1-Å resolution. Each complex contains two DnaKs and two GrpEs, which is a stoichiometry that has not been found before. The long N-terminal GrpE α-helices stabilize the linker of DnaK in the complex. Furthermore, interactions between the DnaK substrate-binding domain and the N-terminal disordered region of GrpE may accelerate substrate release from DnaK. These findings provide molecular mechanisms for substrate binding, processing, and release during the Hsp70 chaperone cycle.
Project description:The soluble region (residues 32-354) of GK0767, a copper-containing nitrite reductase from the thermophilic Gram-positive bacterium Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426, has been cloned and overexpressed in Escherichia coli. The purified recombinant protein was crystallized using the hanging-drop vapour-diffusion method. X-ray diffraction data were collected and processed to a maximum resolution of 1.3?Å. The crystals belonged to space group R3, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 115.1, c = 87.5?Å. Preliminary studies and molecular-replacement calculations reveal the presence of one subunit of the homotrimeric structure in the asymmetric unit; this corresponds to a V(M) value of 3.14?Å(3)?Da(-1).
Project description:The crystal structure of a conserved hypothetical protein, GK0453, from Geobacillus kaustophilus has been determined to 2.2 Å resolution. The crystal belonged to space group P4(3)2(1)2, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 75.69, c = 64.18 Å. The structure was determined by the molecular-replacement method and was refined to a final R factor of 22.6% (R(free) = 26.3%). Based on structural homology, the GK0453 protein possesses two independent binding sites and hence it may simultaneously interact with two proteins or with a protein and a nucleic acid.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Microbial derived lipolytic hydrolysts are an important class of biocatalysts because of their huge abundance and ability to display bioactivities under extreme conditions. In spite of recent advances, our understanding of these enzymes remains rudimentary. The aim of our research is to advance our understanding by seeking for more unusual lipid hydrolysts and revealing their molecular structure and bioactivities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Bacillus. pseudofirmus OF4 is an extreme alkaliphile with tolerance of pH up to 11. In this work we successfully undertook a heterologous expression of a gene estof4 from the alkaliphilic B. pseudofirmus sp OF4. The recombinant protein called EstOF4 was purified into a homologous product by Ni-NTA affinity and gel filtration. The purified EstOF4 was active as dimer with the molecular weight of 64 KDa. It hydrolyzed a wide range of substrates including p-nitrophenyl esters (C2-C12) and triglycerides (C2-C6). Its optimal performance occurred at pH 8.5 and 50°C towards p-nitrophenyl caproate and triacetin. Sequence alignment revealed that EstOF4 shared 71% identity to esterase Est30 from Geobacillus stearothermophilus with a typical lipase pentapeptide motif G91LS93LG95. A structural model developed from homology modeling revealed that EstOF4 possessed a typical esterase 6?/7? hydrolase fold and a cap domain. Site-directed mutagenesis and inhibition studies confirmed the putative catalytic triad Ser93, Asp190 and His220. CONCLUSION: EstOF4 is a new bacterial esterase with a preference to short chain ester substrates. With a high sequence identity towards esterase Est30 and several others, EstOF4 was classified into the same bacterial lipolytic family, Family XIII. All the members in this family originate from the same bacterial genus, bacillus and display optimal activities from neutral pH to alkaline conditions with short and middle chain length substrates. However, with roughly 70% sequence identity, these enzymes showed hugely different thermal stabilities, indicating their diverse thermal adaptations via just changing a few amino acid residues.
Project description:DNA helicases are motor proteins that play essential roles in DNA replication, repair and recombination. In the replicative hexameric helicase, the fundamental reaction is the unwinding of duplex DNA; however, our understanding of this function remains vague due to insufficient structural information. Here, we report two crystal structures of the DnaB-family replicative helicase from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 (GkDnaC) in the apo-form and bound to single-stranded DNA (ssDNA). The GkDnaC-ssDNA complex structure reveals that three symmetrical basic grooves on the interior surface of the hexamer individually encircle ssDNA. The ssDNA-binding pockets in this structure are directed toward the N-terminal domain collar of the hexameric ring, thus orienting the ssDNA toward the DnaG primase to facilitate the synthesis of short RNA primers. These findings provide insight into the mechanism of ssDNA binding and provide a working model to establish a novel mechanism for DNA translocation at the replication fork.
Project description:The 70-kDa heat shock proteins (Hsp70s) are highly conserved ATP-dependent molecular chaperones composed of an N-terminal nucleotide binding domain (NBD) and a C-terminal protein substrate binding domain (SBD) in a bilobate structure. Interdomain communication and nucleotide-dependent structural motions are critical for Hsp70 chaperone functions. Our understanding of these functions remains elusive due to insufficient structural information on intact Hsp70s that represent the different states of the chaperone cycle. We report here the crystal structures of DnaK from Geobacillus kaustophilus HTA426 bound with ADP-Mg(2+)-P(i) at 2.37A and the 70-kDa heat shock cognate protein from Rattus norvegicus bound with ADP-P(i) at 3.5A(.) The NBD and SBD in these structures are significantly separated from each other, and they might depict the ADP-bound conformation. Moreover, a Trp reporter was introduced at the potential interface region between NBD and the interdomain linker of GkDnaK to probe environmental changes. Results from fluorescence measurements support the notion that substrate binding enhances the domain-disjoining behavior of Hsp70 chaperones.