Delineation of Steroid-Degrading Microorganisms through Comparative Genomic Analysis.
ABSTRACT: UNLABELLED:Steroids are ubiquitous in natural environments and are a significant growth substrate for microorganisms. Microbial steroid metabolism is also important for some pathogens and for biotechnical applications. This study delineated the distribution of aerobic steroid catabolism pathways among over 8,000 microorganisms whose genomes are available in the NCBI RefSeq database. Combined analysis of bacterial, archaeal, and fungal genomes with both hidden Markov models and reciprocal BLAST identified 265 putative steroid degraders within only Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria, which mainly originated from soil, eukaryotic host, and aquatic environments. These bacteria include members of 17 genera not previously known to contain steroid degraders. A pathway for cholesterol degradation was conserved in many actinobacterial genera, particularly in members of the Corynebacterineae, and a pathway for cholate degradation was conserved in members of the genus Rhodococcus. A pathway for testosterone and, sometimes, cholate degradation had a patchy distribution among Proteobacteria. The steroid degradation genes tended to occur within large gene clusters. Growth experiments confirmed bioinformatic predictions of steroid metabolism capacity in nine bacterial strains. The results indicate there was a single ancestral 9,10-seco-steroid degradation pathway. Gene duplication, likely in a progenitor of Rhodococcus, later gave rise to a cholate degradation pathway. Proteobacteria and additional Actinobacteria subsequently obtained a cholate degradation pathway via horizontal gene transfer, in some cases facilitated by plasmids. Catabolism of steroids appears to be an important component of the ecological niches of broad groups of Actinobacteria and individual species of Proteobacteria. IMPORTANCE:Steroids are ubiquitous growth substrates for environmental and pathogenic bacteria, and bacterial steroid metabolism has important pharmaceutical and health applications. To date, the genetics and biochemistry of microbial steroid degradation have mainly been studied in a few model bacteria, and the diversity of this metabolism remains largely unexplored. Here, we provide a bioinformatically derived perspective of the taxonomic distribution of aerobic microbial steroid catabolism pathways. We identified several novel steroid-degrading bacterial groups, including ones from marine environments. In several cases, we confirmed bioinformatic predictions of metabolism in cultures. We found that cholesterol and cholate catabolism pathways are highly conserved among certain actinobacterial taxa. We found evidence for horizontal transfer of a pathway to several proteobacterial genera, conferring testosterone and, sometimes, cholate catabolism. The results of this study greatly expand our ecological and evolutionary understanding of microbial steroid metabolism and provide a basis for better exploiting this metabolism for biotechnology.
Project description:Bacterial steroid catabolism is an important component of the global carbon cycle and has applications in drug synthesis. Pathways for this catabolism involve multiple acyl coenzyme A (CoA) synthetases, which activate alkanoate substituents for ?-oxidation. The functions of these synthetases are poorly understood. We enzymatically characterized four distinct acyl-CoA synthetases from the cholate catabolic pathway of Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 and the cholesterol catabolic pathway of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Phylogenetic analysis of 70 acyl-CoA synthetases predicted to be involved in steroid metabolism revealed that the characterized synthetases each represent an orthologous class with a distinct function in steroid side-chain degradation. The synthetases were specific for the length of alkanoate substituent. FadD19 from M. tuberculosis H37Rv (FadD19Mtb) transformed 3-oxo-4-cholesten-26-oate (kcat/Km = 0.33 × 10(5) ± 0.03 × 10(5) M(-1) s(-1)) and represents orthologs that activate the C8 side chain of cholesterol. Both CasGRHA1 and FadD17Mtb are steroid-24-oyl-CoA synthetases. CasG and its orthologs activate the C5 side chain of cholate, while FadD17 and its orthologs appear to activate the C5 side chain of one or more cholesterol metabolites. CasIRHA1 is a steroid-22-oyl-CoA synthetase, representing orthologs that activate metabolites with a C3 side chain, which accumulate during cholate catabolism. CasI had similar apparent specificities for substrates with intact or extensively degraded steroid nuclei, exemplified by 3-oxo-23,24-bisnorchol-4-en-22-oate and 1?(2'-propanoate)-3a?-H-4?(3?-propanoate)-7a?-methylhexahydro-5-indanone (kcat/Km = 2.4 × 10(5) ± 0.1 × 10(5) M(-1) s(-1) and 3.2 × 10(5) ± 0.3 × 10(5) M(-1) s(-1), respectively). Acyl-CoA synthetase classes involved in cholate catabolism were found in both Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. Overall, this study provides insight into the physiological roles of acyl-CoA synthetases in steroid catabolism and a phylogenetic classification enabling prediction of specific functions of related enzymes.
Project description:Steroid microbial degradation plays a significant ecological role for biomass decomposition and removal/detoxification of steroid pollutants. In this study, the initial steps of cholesterol degradation and lithocholate bioconversion by a strain with enhanced 3-ketosteroid dehydrogenase (3-KSD) activity, Nocardioides simplex VKM Ac-2033D, were studied. Biochemical, transcriptomic, and bioinformatic approaches were used. Among the intermediates of sterol sidechain oxidation cholest-5-en-26-oic acid and 3-oxo-cholesta-1,4-dien-26-oic acid were identified as those that have not been earlier reported for N. simplex and related species. The transcriptomic approach revealed candidate genes of cholesterol and lithocholic acid (LCA) catabolism by the strain. A separate set of genes combined in cluster and additional 3-ketosteroid ?1-dehydrogenase and 3-ketosteroid 9?-hydroxylases that might be involved in LCA catabolism were predicted. Bioinformatic calculations based on transcriptomic data showed the existence of a previously unknown transcription factor, which regulates cholate catabolism gene orthologs. The results contribute to the knowledge on diversity of steroid catabolism regulation in actinobacteria and might be used at the engineering of microbial catalysts for ecological and industrial biotechnology.
Project description:Steroids are abundant growth substrates for bacteria in natural, engineered, and host-associated environments. This study analyzed the distribution of the aerobic 9,10-seco steroid degradation pathway in 346 publically available metagenomes from diverse environments. Our results show that steroid-degrading bacteria are globally distributed and prevalent in particular environments, such as wastewater treatment plants, soil, plant rhizospheres, and the marine environment, including marine sponges. Genomic signature-based sequence binning recovered 45 metagenome-assembled genomes containing a majority of 9,10-seco pathway genes. Only Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria were identified as steroid degraders, but we identified several alpha- and gammaproteobacterial lineages not previously known to degrade steroids. Actino- and proteobacterial steroid degraders coexisted in wastewater, while soil and rhizosphere samples contained mostly actinobacterial ones. Actinobacterial steroid degraders were found in deep ocean samples, while mostly alpha- and gammaproteobacterial ones were found in other marine samples, including sponges. Isolation of steroid-degrading bacteria from sponges confirmed their presence. Phylogenetic analysis of key steroid degradation proteins suggested their biochemical novelty in genomes from sponges and other environments. This study shows that the ecological significance as well as taxonomic and biochemical diversity of bacterial steroid degradation has so far been largely underestimated, especially in the marine environment.IMPORTANCE Microbial steroid degradation is a critical process for biomass decomposition in natural environments, for removal of important pollutants during wastewater treatment, and for pathogenesis of bacteria associated with tuberculosis and other bacteria. To date, microbial steroid degradation was mainly studied in a few model organisms, while the ecological significance of steroid degradation remained largely unexplored. This study provides the first analysis of aerobic steroid degradation in diverse natural, engineered, and host-associated environments via bioinformatic analysis of an extensive metagenome data set. We found that steroid-degrading bacteria are globally distributed and prevalent in wastewater treatment plants, soil, plant rhizospheres, and the marine environment, especially in marine sponges. We show that the ecological significance as well as the taxonomic and biochemical diversity of bacterial steroid degradation has been largely underestimated. This study greatly expands our ecological and evolutionary understanding of microbial steroid degradation.
Project description:Bile salts such as cholate are steroid compounds with a C5 carboxylic side chain and occur ubiquitously in vertebrates. Upon their excretion into soils and waters, bile salts can serve as growth substrates for diverse bacteria. Novosphingobium sp. strain Chol11 degrades 7-hydroxy bile salts via 3-keto-7-deoxy-?4,6 metabolites by the dehydration of the 7-hydroxyl group catalyzed by the 7?-hydroxysteroid dehydratase Hsh2. This reaction has not been observed in the well-studied 9-10-seco degradation pathway used by other steroid-degrading bacteria indicating that strain Chol11 uses an alternative pathway. A reciprocal BLASTp analysis showed that known side chain degradation genes from other cholate-degrading bacteria (Pseudomonas stutzeri Chol1, Comamonas testosteroni CNB-2, and Rhodococcus jostii RHA1) were not found in the genome of strain Chol11. The characterization of a transposon mutant of strain Chol11 showing altered growth with cholate identified a novel steroid-24-oyl-coenzyme A ligase named SclA. The unmarked deletion of sclA resulted in a strong growth rate decrease with cholate, while growth with steroids with C3 side chains or without side chains was not affected. Intermediates with a 7-deoxy-3-keto-?4,6 structure, such as 3,12-dioxo-4,6-choldienoic acid (DOCDA), were shown to be likely physiological substrates of SclA. Furthermore, a novel coenzyme A (CoA)-dependent DOCDA degradation metabolite with an additional double bond in the side chain was identified. These results support the hypothesis that Novosphingobium sp. strain Chol11 harbors an alternative pathway for cholate degradation, in which side chain degradation is initiated by the CoA ligase SclA and proceeds via reaction steps catalyzed by so-far-unknown enzymes different from those of other steroid-degrading bacteria.IMPORTANCE This study provides further evidence of the diversity of metabolic pathways for the degradation of steroid compounds in environmental bacteria. The knowledge about these pathways contributes to the understanding of the CO2-releasing part of the global C cycle. Furthermore, it is useful for investigating the fate of pharmaceutical steroids in the environment, some of which may act as endocrine disruptors.
Project description:Bile acids are highly abundant steroids with important functions in vertebrate digestion. Their catabolism by bacteria is an important component of the carbon cycle, contributes to gut ecology, and has potential commercial applications. We found that Rhodococcus jostii RHA1 grows well on cholate, as well as on its conjugates, taurocholate and glycocholate. The transcriptome of RHA1 growing on cholate revealed 39 genes upregulated on cholate, occurring in a single gene cluster. Reverse transcriptase quantitative PCR confirmed that selected genes in the cluster were upregulated 10-fold on cholate versus on cholesterol. One of these genes, kshA3, encoding a putative 3-ketosteroid-9?-hydroxylase, was deleted and found essential for growth on cholate. Two coenzyme A (CoA) synthetases encoded in the cluster, CasG and CasI, were heterologously expressed. CasG was shown to transform cholate to cholyl-CoA, thus initiating side chain degradation. CasI was shown to form CoA derivatives of steroids with isopropanoyl side chains, likely occurring as degradation intermediates. Orthologous gene clusters were identified in all available Rhodococcus genomes, as well as that of Thermomonospora curvata. Moreover, Rhodococcus equi 103S, Rhodococcus ruber Chol-4 and Rhodococcus erythropolis SQ1 each grew on cholate. In contrast, several mycolic acid bacteria lacking the gene cluster were unable to grow on cholate. Our results demonstrate that the above-mentioned gene cluster encodes cholate catabolism and is distinct from a more widely occurring gene cluster encoding cholesterol catabolism.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Aerobic side chain degradation of phytosterols by actinobacteria is the basis for the industrial production of androstane steroids which are the starting materials for the synthesis of steroid hormones. A native strain of Mycobacterium sp. VKM Ac-1817D effectively produces 9?-hydroxyandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione (9-OH-AD) from phytosterol, but also is capable of slow steroid core degradation. However, the set of the genes with products that are involved in phytosterol oxidation, their organisation and regulation remain poorly understood. RESULTS:High-throughput sequencing of the global transcriptomes of the Mycobacterium sp. VKM Ac-1817D cultures grown with or without phytosterol was carried out. In the presence of phytosterol, the expression of 260 genes including those related to steroid catabolism pathways significantly increased. Two of the five genes encoding the oxygenase unit of 3-ketosteroid-9?-hydroxylase (kshA) were highly up-regulated in response to phytosterol (55- and 25-fold, respectively) as well as one of the two genes encoding its reductase subunit (kshB) (40-fold). Only one of the five putative genes encoding 3-ketosteroid-?1-dehydrogenase (KstD_1) was up-regulated in the presence of phytosterol (61-fold), but several substitutions in the conservative positions of its product were revealed. Among the genes over-expressed in the presence of phytosterol, several dozen genes did not possess binding sites for the known regulatory factors of steroid catabolism. In the promoter regions of these genes, a regularly occurring palindromic motif was revealed. The orthologue of TetR-family transcription regulator gene Rv0767c of M. tuberculosis was identified in Mycobacterium sp. VKM Ac-1817D as G155_05115. CONCLUSIONS:High expression levels of the genes related to the sterol side chain degradation and steroid 9?-hydroxylation in combination with possible defects in KstD_1 may contribute to effective 9?-hydroxyandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione accumulation from phytosterol provided by this biotechnologically relevant strain. The TetR-family transcription regulator gene G155_05115 presumably associated with the regulation of steroid catabolism. The results are of significance for the improvement of biocatalytic features of the microbial strains for the steroid industry.
Project description:Nocardioides dokdonensis, belonging to the class Actinobacteria, was first isolated from sand sediment of a beach in Dokdo, Korea, in 2005. In this study, we determined the genome sequence of FR1436, the type strain of N. dokdonensis, and analyzed its gene contents. The genome sequence is the second complete one in the genus Nocardioides after that of Nocardioides sp. JS614. It is composed of a 4,376,707-bp chromosome with a G + C content of 72.26%. From the genome sequence, 4,104 CDSs, three rRNA operons, 51 tRNAs, and one tmRNA were predicted, and 71.38% of the genes were assigned putative functions. Through the sequence analysis, dozens of genes involved in steroid metabolism, especially its degradation, were detected. Most of the identified genes were located in large gene clusters, which showed high similarities with the gene clusters in Pimelobacter simplex VKM Ac-2033D. Genomic features of N. dokdonensis associated with steroid catabolism indicate that it could be used for research and application of steroids in science and industry.
Project description:Most mycolic acid-containing actinobacteria and some proteobacteria use steroids as growth substrates, but the catabolism of the last two steroid rings has yet to be elucidated. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, this pathway includes virulence determinants and has been proposed to be encoded by the KstR2-regulated genes, which include a predicted coenzyme A (CoA) transferase gene (ipdAB) and an acyl-CoA reductase gene (ipdC). In the presence of cholesterol, ?ipdC and ?ipdAB mutants of either M. tuberculosis or Rhodococcus jostii strain RHA1 accumulated previously undescribed metabolites: 3a?-H-4?(carboxyl-CoA)-5-hydroxy-7a?-methylhexahydro-1-indanone (5-OH HIC-CoA) and (R)-2-(2-carboxyethyl)-3-methyl-6-oxocyclohex-1-ene-1-carboxyl-CoA (COCHEA-CoA), respectively. A ?fadE32 mutant of Mycobacterium smegmatis accumulated 4-methyl-5-oxo-octanedioic acid (MOODA). Incubation of synthetic 5-OH HIC-CoA with purified IpdF, IpdC, and enoyl-CoA hydratase 20 (EchA20), a crotonase superfamily member, yielded COCHEA-CoA and, upon further incubation with IpdAB and a CoA thiolase, yielded MOODA-CoA. Based on these studies, we propose a pathway for the final steps of steroid catabolism in which the 5-member ring is hydrolyzed by EchA20, followed by hydrolysis of the 6-member ring by IpdAB. Metabolites accumulated by ?ipdF and ?echA20 mutants support the model. The conservation of these genes in known steroid-degrading bacteria suggests that the pathway is shared. This pathway further predicts that cholesterol catabolism yields four propionyl-CoAs, four acetyl-CoAs, one pyruvate, and one succinyl-CoA. Finally, a ?ipdAB M. tuberculosis mutant did not survive in macrophages and displayed severely depleted CoASH levels that correlated with a cholesterol-dependent toxicity. Our results together with the developed tools provide a basis for further elucidating bacterial steroid catabolism and virulence determinants in M. tuberculosis.IMPORTANCE Bacteria are the only known steroid degraders, but the pathway responsible for degrading the last two steroid rings has yet to be elucidated. In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, this pathway includes virulence determinants. Using a series of mutants in M. tuberculosis and related bacteria, we identified a number of novel CoA thioesters as pathway intermediates. Analysis of the metabolites combined with enzymological studies establishes how the last two steroid rings are hydrolytically opened by enzymes encoded by the KstR2 regulon. Our results provide experimental evidence for novel ring-degrading enzymes, significantly advance our understanding of bacterial steroid catabolism, and identify a previously uncharacterized cholesterol-dependent toxicity that may facilitate the development of novel tuberculosis therapeutics.
Project description:The well-known large catabolic potential of rhodococci is greatly facilitated by an impressive gene multiplicity. This study reports on the multiplicity of kshA, encoding the oxygenase component of 3-ketosteroid 9?-hydroxylase, a key enzyme in steroid catabolism. Five kshA homologues (kshA1 to kshA5) were previously identified in Rhodococcus rhodochrous DSM43269. These KshA(DSM43269) homologues are distributed over several phylogenetic groups. The involvement of these KshA homologues in the catabolism of different classes of steroids, i.e., sterols, pregnanes, androstenes, and bile acids, was investigated. Enzyme activity assays showed that all KSH enzymes with KshA(DSM43269) homologues are C-9 ?-hydroxylases acting on a wide range of 3-ketosteroids, but not on 3-hydroxysteroids. KshA5 appeared to be the most versatile enzyme, with the broadest substrate range but without a clear substrate preference. In contrast, KshA1 was found to be dedicated to cholic acid catabolism. Transcriptional analysis and functional complementation studies revealed that kshA5 supported growth on any of the different classes of steroids tested, consistent with its broad expression induction pattern. The presence of multiple kshA genes in the R. rhodochrous DSM43269 genome, each displaying unique steroid induction patterns and substrate ranges, appears to facilitate a dynamic and fine-tuned steroid catabolism, with C-9 ?-hydroxylation occurring at different levels during microbial steroid degradation.
Project description:Sodium benzoate is one of the widely used food preservatives and its metabolism in the human body has been studied only with the host perspective. Despite the human gut microbiome being considered as a virtual human organ, its role in benzoate metabolism is yet to be elucidated. The current study uses a multi-omic approach to rationalize the role of human gut microbes in benzoate metabolism. Microbial diversity analysis with multiple features synchronously indicates the dominance of Bacteroidetes followed by Firmicutes, Actinobacteria, and Proteobacteria. Metagenomic exploration highlights the presence of benzoate catabolic protein features. These features were mapped on to the aerobic and anaerobic pathways of benzoate catabolism. Benzoate catabolism assays identified statistically significant metabolites (P?<?0.05) associated with the protocatechuate branch of the beta-ketoadipate pathway of the benzoate metabolism. Analysis of the 201 human gut metagenomic datasets across diverse populations indicates the omnipresence of these features. Enrichment of the benzoate catabolic protein features in human gut microbes rationalizes their role in benzoate catabolism, as well as indicates food-derived microbiome evolution.