Engineering trehalose synthesis in Lactococcus lactis for improved stress tolerance.
ABSTRACT: Trehalose accumulation is a common cell defense strategy against a variety of stressful conditions. In particular, our team detected high levels of trehalose in Propionibacterium freudenreichii in response to acid stress, a result that led to the idea that endowing Lactococcus lactis with the capacity to synthesize trehalose could improve the acid tolerance of this organism. To this end, we took advantage of the endogenous genes involved in the trehalose catabolic pathway of L. lactis, i.e., trePP and pgmB, encoding trehalose 6-phosphate phosphorylase and ?-phosphoglucomutase, respectively, which enabled the synthesis of trehalose 6-phosphate. Given that L. lactis lacks trehalose 6-phosphate phosphatase, the respective gene, otsB, from the food-grade organism P. freudenreichii was used to provide the required activity. The trehalose yield was approximately 15% in resting cells and in mid-exponential-phase cells grown without pH control. The intracellular concentration of trehalose reached maximal values of approximately 170 mM, but at least 67% of the trehalose produced was found in the growth medium. The viability of mutant and control strains was examined after exposure to heat, cold or acid shock, and freeze-drying. The trehalose-producing strains showed improved tolerance (5- to 10-fold-higher survivability) to acid (pH 3) and cold shock (4°C); there was also a strong improvement in cell survival in response to heat shock (45°C), and no protection was rendered against dehydration. The insight provided by this work may help the design of food-grade strains optimized for the dairy industry as well as for oral drug delivery.
Project description:Seven Propionibacterium freudenreichii strains exhibited similar responses when placed at 4°C. They slowed down cell machinery, displayed cold stress responses, and rerouted their carbon metabolism toward trehalose and glycogen synthesis, both accumulated in cells. These results highlight the molecular basis of long-term survival of P. freudenreichii in the cold.
Project description:Strains of Thermus thermophilus accumulate primarily trehalose and smaller amounts of mannosylglycerate in response to salt stress in yeast extract-containing media (O. C. Nunes, C. M. Manaia, M. S. da Costa, and H. Santos, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 61:2351-2357, 1995). A 2.4-kbp DNA fragment from T. thermophilus strain RQ-1 carrying otsA (encoding trehalose-phosphate synthase [TPS]), otsB (encoding trehalose-phosphate phosphatase [TPP]), and a short sequence of the 5' end of treS (trehalose synthase [TreS]) was cloned from a gene library. The sequences of the three genes (including treS) were amplified by PCR and sequenced, revealing that the genes were structurally linked. To understand the role of trehalose during salt stress in T. thermophilus RQ-1, we constructed a mutant, designated RQ-1M6, in which TPS (otsA) and TPP (otsB) genes were disrupted by gene replacement. Mutant RQ-1M6 accumulated trehalose and mannosylglycerate in a medium containing yeast extract and NaCl. However, growth in a defined medium (without yeast extract, known to contain trehalose) containing NaCl led to the accumulation of mannosylglycerate but not trehalose. The deletion of otsA and otsB reduced the ability to grow in defined salt-containing medium, with the maximum salinity being 5% NaCl for RQ-1 and 3% NaCl for RQ-1M6. The lower salt tolerance observed in the mutant was relieved by the addition of trehalose to the growth media. In contrast to trehalose, the addition of glycine betaine, mannosylglycerate, maltose, and glucose to the growth medium did not allow the mutant to grow at higher salinities. The results presented here provide crucial evidence for the importance of the TPS/TPP pathway for the synthesis and accumulation of trehalose and the decisive contribution of this disaccharide to osmotic adaptation in T. thermophilus RQ-1.
Project description:Trehalose is a disaccharide with potential applications in the biotechnology and food industries. We propose a method for industrial production of trehalose, based on improved strains of Corynebacterium glutamicum. This paper describes the heterologous expression of Escherichia coli trehalose-synthesizing enzymes trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (OtsA) and trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (OtsB) in C. glutamicum, as well as its impact on the trehalose biosynthetic rate and metabolic-flux distributions, during growth in a defined culture medium. The new recombinant strain showed a five- to sixfold increase in the activity of OtsAB pathway enzymes, compared to a control strain, as well as an almost fourfold increase in the trehalose excretion rate during the exponential growth phase and a twofold increase in the final titer of trehalose. The heterologous expression described resulted in a reduced specific glucose uptake rate and Krebs cycle flux, as well as reduced pentose pathway flux, a consequence of downregulated glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase. The results proved the suitability of using the heterologous expression of Ots proteins in C. glutamicum to increase the trehalose biosynthetic rate and yield and suggest critical points for further improvement of trehalose overproduction in C. glutamicum.
Project description:Xanthomonas citri subsp. citri (Xcc) is a bacterial pathogen that causes citrus canker in susceptible Citrus spp. The Xcc genome contains genes encoding enzymes from three separate pathways of trehalose biosynthesis. Expression of genes encoding trehalose-6-phosphate synthase (otsA) and trehalose phosphatase (otsB) was highly induced during canker development, suggesting that the two-step pathway of trehalose biosynthesis via trehalose-6-phosphate has a function in pathogenesis. This pathway was eliminated from the bacterium by deletion of the otsA gene. The resulting Xcc?otsA mutant produced less trehalose than the wild-type strain, was less resistant to salt and oxidative stresses, and was less able to colonize plant tissues. Gene expression and proteomic analyses of infected leaves showed that infection with Xcc?otsA triggered only weak defence responses in the plant compared with infection with Xcc, and had less impact on the host plant's metabolism than the wild-type strain. These results suggested that trehalose of bacterial origin, synthesized via the otsA-otsB pathway, in Xcc, plays a role in modifying the host plant's metabolism to its own advantage but is also perceived by the plant as a sign of pathogen attack. Thus, trehalose biosynthesis has both positive and negative consequences for Xcc. On the one hand, it enables this bacterial pathogen to survive in the inhospitable environment of the leaf surface before infection and exploit the host plant's resources after infection, but on the other hand, it is a tell-tale sign of the pathogen's presence that triggers the plant to defend itself against infection.
Project description:The growth and persistence of rhizobia and bradyrhizobia in soils are negatively impacted by drought conditions. In this study, we used genome-wide transcriptional analyses to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the response of Bradyrhizobium japonicum to drought. Desiccation of cells resulted in the differential expression of 15 to 20% of the 8,453 [corrected] B. japonicum open reading frames, with considerable differentiation between early (after 4 h) and late (after 24 and 72 h) expressed genes. While 225 genes were universally up-regulated at all three incubation times in response to desiccation, an additional 43 and 403 up-regulated genes were common to the 4/24- and 24/72-h incubation times, respectively. Desiccating conditions resulted in the significant induction (>2.0-fold) of the trehalose-6-phosphate synthetase (otsA), trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase (otsB), and trehalose synthase (treS) genes, which encode two of the three trehalose synthesis pathways found in B. japonicum. Gene induction was correlated with an elevated intracellular concentration of trehalose and increased activity of trehalose-6-phosphate synthetase, collectively supporting the hypothesis that this disaccharide plays a prominent and important role in promoting desiccation tolerance in B. japonicum. Microarray data also indicated that sigma(54)- and sigma(24)-associated transcriptional regulators and genes encoding isocitrate lyase, oxidative stress responses, the synthesis and transport of exopolysaccharides, heat shock response proteins, enzymes for the modification and repair of nucleic acids, and the synthesis of pili and flagella are also involved in the response of B. japonicum to desiccation. Polyethylene glycol-generated osmotic stress induced significantly fewer genes than those transcriptionally activated by desiccation. However, 67 genes were commonly induced under both conditions. Taken together, these results suggest that B. japonicum directly responds to desiccation by adapting to changes imparted by reduced water activity, such as the synthesis of trehalose and polysaccharides and, secondarily, by the induction of a wide variety of proteins involved in protection of the cell membrane, repair of DNA damage, stability and integrity of proteins, and oxidative stress responses.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Microbial cell factories are widely used in the production of acidic products such as organic acids and amino acids. However, the metabolic activity of microbial cells and their production efficiency are severely inhibited with the accumulation of intracellular acidic metabolites. Therefore, it remains a key issue to enhance the acid tolerance of microbial cells. In this study, we investigated the effects of four ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters on acid stress tolerance in Lactococcus lactis. RESULTS:Overexpressing the rbsA, rbsB, msmK, and dppA genes exhibited 5.8-, 12.2-, 213.7-, and 5.2-fold higher survival rates than the control strain, respectively, after acid shock for 3 h at pH 4.0. Subsequently, transcriptional profile alterations in recombinant strains were analyzed during acid stress. The differentially expressed genes associated with cold-shock proteins (csp), fatty acid biosynthesis (fabH), and coenzyme A biosynthesis (coaD) were up-regulated in the four recombinant strains during acid stress. Additionally, some genes were differentially expressed in specific recombinant strains. For example, in L. lactis (RbsB), genes involved in the pyrimidine biosynthetic pathway (pyrCBDEK) and glycine or betaine transport process (busAA and busAB) were up-regulated during acid stress, and the argG genes showed up-regulations in L. lactis (MsmK). Finally, we found that overexpression of the ABC transporters RbsB and MsmK increased intracellular ATP concentrations to protect cells against acidic damage in the initial stage of acid stress. Furthermore, L. lactis (MsmK) consistently maintained elevated ATP concentrations under acid stress. CONCLUSIONS:This study elucidates the common and specific mechanisms underlying improved acid tolerance by manipulating ABC transporters and provides a further understanding of the role of ABC transporters in acid-stress tolerance.
Project description:Trehalose, a non-reducing disaccharide (?-D-glucopyranosyl-(1?1)-?-D-glucopyranoside) is a natural compound, which serves as a protective substance in halophilic bacterial cells. Trehalose biosynthesis genes (<i>otsA</i> and <i>otsB</i>) were PCR amplified from the genomic DNA of deep sea actinobacteria, <i>Streptomyces qinglanensis</i> NIOT-DSA03. The amplified genes were cloned and nucleotide sequences were determined. <i>In silico</i> sequence and phylogenetic analysis of nucleotides and amino acids of <i>otsA</i> and <i>otsB</i> sequences of <i>S. qinglanensis</i> were also determined. The experimental data described in this study will be helpful to develop a recombinant expression system to produce trehalose for biotechnological applications.
Project description:Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis is an important microorganism for enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR). In a previous study, we found a remarkable flexibility regarding salinity, since this same microorganism could thrive in both freshwater- and seawater-based environments, but the mechanism for the tolerance to saline conditions remained unknown. Here, we identified and described the role of trehalose as an osmolyte in Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis. A freshwater-adapted culture was exposed to a single batch cycle of hyperosmotic and hypo-osmotic shock, which led to the release of trehalose up to 5.34 mg trehalose/g volatile suspended solids (VSS). Long-term adaptation to 30% seawater-based medium in a sequencing batch reactor (SBR) gave a stable operation with complete anaerobic uptake of acetate and propionate along with phosphate release of 0.73 Pmol/Cmol, and complete aerobic uptake of phosphate. Microbial analysis showed Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis clade I as the dominant organism in both the freshwater- and seawater-adapted cultures (>?90% presence). Exposure of the seawater-adapted culture to a single batch cycle of hyperosmotic incubation and hypo-osmotic shock led to an increase in trehalose release upon hypo-osmotic shock when higher salinity is used for the hyperosmotic incubation. Maximum trehalose release upon hypo-osmotic shock was achieved after hyperosmotic incubation with 3× salinity increase relative to the salinity in the SBR adaptation reactor, resulting in the release of 11.9 mg trehalose/g VSS. Genome analysis shows the possibility of Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis to convert glycogen into trehalose by the presence of treX, treY, and treZ genes. Addition of trehalose to the reactor led to its consumption, both during anaerobic and aerobic phases. These results indicate the flexibility of the metabolism of Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis towards variations in salinity. KEY POINTS: • Trehalose is identified as an osmolyte in Candidatus Accumulibacter phosphatis. • Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis can convert glycogen into trehalose. • Ca. Accumulibacter phosphatis clade I is present and active in both seawater and freshwater.
Project description:In this study we correlate the presence of genes leading to the synthesis of trehalose and mannosylglycerate (MG) in 17 strains of the genus Thermus with the ability of the strains to grow and accumulate these compatible solutes in a defined medium containing NaCl. The two sets of genes, namely, otsA/otsB for the synthesis of trehalose and mpgS/mpgP for the synthesis of MG, were necessary for the growth of Thermus thermophilus in a defined medium containing up to 6% NaCl. Strains lacking a complete otsA gene did not grow in defined medium containing >2% NaCl. One strain of T. thermophilus lacking the genes for the synthesis of MG did not grow in a medium with >1% NaCl. We did not identify any of these genes in the type strains of the other seven species of Thermus, and none of those strains grew in defined medium with 1% NaCl. The results strongly indicate that the combined accumulation of trehalose and MG is required for optimal osmotic adjustment.
Project description:Trehalose biosynthesis is considered an attractive target for the development of antimicrobials against fungal, helminthic and bacterial pathogens including Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The most common biosynthetic route involves trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P) synthase OtsA and T6P phosphatase OtsB that generate trehalose from ADP/UDP-glucose and glucose-6-phosphate. In order to assess the drug target potential of T6P phosphatase, we generated a conditional mutant of M. tuberculosis allowing the regulated gene silencing of the T6P phosphatase gene otsB2. We found that otsB2 is essential for growth of M. tuberculosis in vitro as well as for the acute infection phase in mice following aerosol infection. By contrast, otsB2 is not essential for the chronic infection phase in mice, highlighting the substantial remodelling of trehalose metabolism during infection by M. tuberculosis. Blocking OtsB2 resulted in the accumulation of its substrate T6P, which appears to be toxic, leading to the self-poisoning of cells. Accordingly, blocking T6P production in a ?otsA mutant abrogated otsB2 essentiality. T6P accumulation elicited a global upregulation of more than 800 genes, which might result from an increase in RNA stability implied by the enhanced neutralization of toxins exhibiting ribonuclease activity. Surprisingly, overlap with the stress response caused by the accumulation of another toxic sugar phosphate molecule, maltose-1-phosphate, was minimal. A genome-wide screen for synthetic lethal interactions with otsA identified numerous genes, revealing additional potential drug targets synergistic with OtsB2 suitable for combination therapies that would minimize the emergence of resistance to OtsB2 inhibitors.