Identification of genes affecting alginate biosynthesis in Pseudomonas fluorescens by screening a transposon insertion library.
ABSTRACT: Polysaccharides often are necessary components of bacterial biofilms and capsules. Production of these biopolymers constitutes a drain on key components in the central carbon metabolism, but so far little is known concerning if and how the cells divide their resources between cell growth and production of exopolysaccharides. Alginate is an industrially important linear polysaccharide synthesized from fructose 6-phosphate by several bacterial species. The aim of this study was to identify genes that are necessary for obtaining a normal level of alginate production in alginate-producing Pseudomonas fluorescens.Polysaccharide biosynthesis is costly, since it utilizes nucleotide sugars and sequesters carbon. Consequently, transcription of the genes necessary for polysaccharide biosynthesis is usually tightly regulated. In this study we used an engineered P. fluorescens SBW25 derivative where all genes encoding the proteins needed for biosynthesis of alginate from fructose 6-phosphate and export of the polymer are expressed from inducible Pm promoters. In this way we would avoid identification of genes merely involved in regulating the expression of the alginate biosynthetic genes. The engineered strain was subjected to random transposon mutagenesis and a library of about 11500 mutants was screened for strains with altered alginate production. Identified inactivated genes were mainly found to encode proteins involved in metabolic pathways related to uptake and utilization of carbon, nitrogen and phosphor sources, biosynthesis of purine and tryptophan and peptidoglycan recycling.The majority of the identified mutants resulted in diminished alginate biosynthesis while cell yield in most cases were less affected. In some cases, however, a higher final cell yield were measured. The data indicate that when the supplies of fructose 6-phosphate or GTP are diminished, less alginate is produced. This should be taken into account when bacterial strains are designed for industrial polysaccharide production.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Alginate is an industrially important polysaccharide, currently produced commercially by harvesting of marine brown sea-weeds. The polymer is also synthesized as an exo-polysaccharide by bacteria belonging to the genera Pseudomonas and Azotobacter, and these organisms may represent an alternative alginate source in the future. The current work describes an attempt to rationally develop a biological system tuned for very high levels of alginate production, based on a fundamental understanding of the system through metabolic modeling supported by transcriptomics studies and carefully controlled fermentations. RESULTS: Alginate biosynthesis in Pseudomonas fluorescens was studied in a genomics perspective, using an alginate over-producing strain carrying a mutation in the anti-sigma factor gene mucA. Cells were cultivated in chemostats under nitrogen limitation on fructose or glycerol as carbon sources, and cell mass, growth rate, sugar uptake, alginate and CO(2) production were monitored. In addition a genome scale metabolic model was constructed and samples were collected for transcriptome analyses. The analyses show that polymer production operates in a close to optimal way with respect to stoichiometric utilization of the carbon source and that the cells increase the uptake of carbon source to compensate for the additional needs following from alginate synthesis. The transcriptome studies show that in the presence of the mucA mutation, the alg operon is upregulated together with genes involved in energy generation, genes on both sides of the succinate node of the TCA cycle and genes encoding ribosomal and other translation-related proteins. Strains expressing a functional MucA protein (no alginate production) synthesize cellular biomass in an inefficient way, apparently due to a cycle that involves oxidation of NADPH without ATP production. The results of this study indicate that the most efficient way of using a mucA mutant as a cell factory for alginate production would be to use non-growing conditions and nitrogen deprivation. CONCLUSIONS: The insights gained in this study should be very useful for a future efficient production of microbial alginates.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Alginate is an important cell wall component and mannitol is a soluble storage carbon substance in the brown seaweed Saccharina japonica. Their contents vary with kelp developmental periods and harvesting time. Alginate and mannitol regulatory networks and molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. RESULTS:With WGCNA and trend analysis of 20,940 known genes and 4264 new genes produced from transcriptome sequencing of 30 kelp samples from different stages and tissues, we deduced that ribosomal proteins, light harvesting complex proteins and "imm upregulated 3" gene family are closely associated with the meristematic growth and kelp maturity. Moreover, 134 and 6 genes directly involved in the alginate and mannitol metabolism were identified, respectively. Mannose-6-phosphate isomerase (MPI2), phosphomannomutase (PMM1), GDP-mannose 6-dehydrogenase (GMD3) and mannuronate C5-epimerase (MC5E70 and MC5E122) are closely related with the high content of alginate in the distal blade. Mannitol accumulation in the basal blade might be ascribed to high expression of mannitol-1-phosphate dehydrogenase (M1PDH1) and mannitol-1-phosphatase (M1Pase) (in biosynthesis direction) and low expression of mannitol-2-dehydrogenase (M2DH) and Fructokinase (FK) (in degradation direction). Oxidative phosphorylation and photosynthesis provide ATP and NADH for mannitol metabolism whereas glycosylated cycle and tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle produce GTP for alginate biosynthesis. RNA/protein synthesis and transportation might affect alginate complex polymerization and secretion processes. Cryptochrome (CRY-DASH), xanthophyll cycle, photosynthesis and carbon fixation influence the production of intermediate metabolite of fructose-6-phosphate, contributing to high content of mannitol in the basal blade. CONCLUSIONS:The network of co-responsive DNA synthesis, repair and proteolysis are presumed to be involved in alginate polymerization and secretion, while upstream light-responsive reactions are important for mannitol accumulation in meristem of kelp. Our transcriptome analysis provides new insights into the transcriptional regulatory networks underlying the biosynthesis of alginate and mannitol during S. japonica developments.
Project description:The alginate-producing bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens utilizes the Entner-Doudoroff (ED) and pentose phosphate (PP) pathways to metabolize fructose, since the upper part of its Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas pathway is defective. Our previous study indicated that perturbation of the central carbon metabolism by diminishing glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase activity could lead to sugar phosphate stress when P. fluorescens was cultivated on fructose. In the present study, we demonstrate that PFLU2693, annotated as a haloacid dehalogenase-like enzyme, is a new sugar phosphate phosphatase, now designated Spp, which is able to dephosphorylate a range of phosphate substrates, including glucose 6-phosphate and fructose 6-phosphate, in vitro The effect of spp overexpression on growth and alginate production was investigated using both the wild type and several mutant strains. The results obtained suggested that sugar phosphate accumulation caused diminished growth in some of the mutant strains, since this was partially relieved by spp overexpression. On the other hand, overexpression of spp in fructose-grown alginate-producing strains negatively affected both growth and alginate production. The latter implies that Spp dephosphorylates the sugar phosphates, thus depleting the pool of these important metabolites. Deletion of the spp gene did not affect growth of the wild-type strain on fructose, but the gene could not be deleted in the alginate-producing strain. This indicates that Spp is essential for relieving the cells of sugar phosphate stress in P. fluorescens actively producing alginate. IMPORTANCE:In enteric bacteria, the sugar phosphate phosphatase YigL is known to play an important role in combating stress caused by sugar phosphate accumulation. In this study, we identified a sugar phosphate phosphatase, designated Spp, in Pseudomonas fluorescens Spp utilizes glucose 6-phosphate, fructose 6-phosphate, and ribose 5-phosphate as substrates, and overexpression of the gene had a positive effect on growth in P. fluorescens mutants experiencing sugar phosphate stress. The gene was localized downstream of gnd and zwf-2, which encode enzymes involved in the pentose phosphate and Entner-Doudoroff pathways. Genes encoding Spp homologues were identified in similar genetic contexts in some bacteria belonging to several phylogenetically diverse families, suggesting similar functions.
Project description:Azotobacter vinelandii produces the biopolymer alginate, which has a wide range of industrial and pharmaceutical applications. A random transposon insertion mutant library was constructed from A. vinelandii ATCC12518Tc in order to identify genes and pathways affecting alginate biosynthesis, and about 4,000 mutant strains were screened for altered alginate production. One mutant, containing a mucA disruption, displayed an elevated alginate production level, and several mutants with decreased or abolished alginate production were identified. The regulatory proteins AlgW and AmrZ seem to be required for alginate production in A. vinelandii, similarly to Pseudomonas aeruginosa. An algB mutation did however not affect alginate yield in A. vinelandii although its P. aeruginosa homolog is needed for full alginate production. Inactivation of the fructose phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system protein FruA resulted in a mutant that did not produce alginate when cultivated in media containing various carbon sources, indicating that this system could have a role in regulation of alginate biosynthesis. Furthermore, impaired or abolished alginate production was observed for strains with disruptions of genes involved in peptidoglycan biosynthesis/recycling and biosynthesis of purines, isoprenoids, TCA cycle intermediates, and various vitamins, suggesting that sufficient access to some of these compounds is important for alginate production. This hypothesis was verified by showing that addition of thiamine, succinate or a mixture of lysine, methionine and diaminopimelate increases alginate yield in the non-mutagenized strain. These results might be used in development of optimized alginate production media or in genetic engineering of A. vinelandii strains for alginate bioproduction.
Project description:The overproduction of polysaccharide alginate is responsible for the formation of mucus in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients. Histidine kinase KinB of the KinB-AlgB two-component system in Pseudomonas aeruginosa acts as a negative regulator of alginate biosynthesis. The modular architecture of KinB is similar to other histidine kinases. However, its periplasmic signal sensor domain is unique and is found only in the Pseudomonas genus. Here, we present the first crystal structures of the KinB sensor domain. The domain is a dimer in solution, and in the crystal it shows an atypical dimer of a helix-swapped four-helix bundle. A positively charged cavity is formed on the dimer interface and involves several strictly conserved residues, including Arg-60. A phosphate anion is bound asymmetrically in one of the structures. In silico docking identified several monophosphorylated sugars, including ?-D-fructose 6-phosphate and ?-D-mannose 6-phosphate, a precursor and an intermediate of alginate synthesis, respectively, as potential KinB ligands. Ligand binding was confirmed experimentally. Conformational transition from a symmetric to an asymmetric structure and decreasing dimer stability caused by ligand binding may be a part of the signal transduction mechanism of the KinB-AlgB two-component system.
Project description:The biosynthesis of alginate by a mucoid strain of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, isolated from a cystic-fibrosis patient, was monitored by using 13C-n.m.r. spectroscopy of bacterial cultures incubated with 1-13C- or 2-13C-enriched fructose. When 1-13C- or 2-13C-enriched fructose was used as the precursor of alginate, enrichment with 13C in the constituent uronic acid monomers of the polysaccharide could only be detected in C-1 or C-2 respectively, indicating that alginate is synthesized in Ps. aeruginosa directly from fructose, with the hexose molecule being retained intact; this rules out the involvement of C3 intermediates, which occurs when glucose is the alginate precursor. The absence of detectable poly-L-gluluronate block sequences from the alginate of Ps. aeruginosa was confirmed, and it was shown that there is no modification of the arrangement of the constituent uronic acids between polymerization to form alginate and the appearance of the mature alginate in the extracellular medium. The 13C-n.m.r. data also provided independent evidence for acetylation on D-mannuronate residues and for the ratio of D-mannuronate to L-guluronate residues in newly synthesized alginate, which had previously been determined only for material secreted from bacteria into the extracellular medium.
Project description:Perylenequinones (PQ), a class of naturally occurring polypeptides, are widely used as a clinical drug for treating skin diseases and as a photodynamic therapy against cancers and viruses. In this study, the effects of different carbon sources on PQ biosynthesis by <i>Shiraia</i> sp. Slf14 were compared, and the underlying molecular mechanism of fructose as the sole carbon to enhance PQ production was investigated by transcriptome analysis. The results indicated that fructose enhanced PQ yield to 1753.64 mg/L, which was 1.73-fold higher than that obtained with glucose. Comparative transcriptome analysis demonstrated that most of the upregulated genes were related to transport systems, energy and central carbon metabolism in <i>Shiraia</i> sp. Slf14 cultured in fructose. The genes involved in glycolysis and pentose phosphate pathways, and encoding citrate synthase, ATP-citrate lyase, and acetyl-CoA carboxylase were substantially upregulated, resulting in increased overall acetyl-CoA and malonyl-CoA production. However, genes involved in gluconeogenesis, glyoxylate cycle pathway, and fatty acid synthesis were significantly downregulated, resulting in higher acetyl-CoA influx for PQ formation. In particular, the putative PQ biosynthetic cluster was upregulated in <i>Shiraia</i> sp. Slf14 cultured in fructose, leading to a significant increase in PQ production. The results of real-time qRT-PCR and related enzyme activities were also consistent with those of transcriptome analysis. These findings provide a remarkable insight into the underlying mechanism of PQ biosynthesis and pave the way for improvements in PQ production by <i>Shiraia</i> sp. Slf14.
Project description:BACKGROUND: For the production of L-phenylalanine (L-Phe), two molecules of phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) and one molecule erythrose-4-phosphate (E4P) are necessary. PEP stems from glycolysis whereas E4P is formed in the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP). Glucose, commonly used for L-Phe production with recombinant E. coli, is taken up via the PEP-dependent phosphotransferase system which delivers glucose-6-phosphate (G6P). G6P enters either glycolysis or the PPP. In contrast, glycerol is phosphorylated by an ATP-dependent glycerol kinase (GlpK) thus saving one PEP. However, two gluconeogenic reactions (fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, FBPase) are necessary for growth and provision of E4P. Glycerol has become an important carbon source for biotechnology and reports on production of L-Phe from glycerol are available. However, the influence of FBPase and transketolase reactions on L-Phe production has not been reported. RESULTS: L-Phe productivity of parent strain FUS4/pF81 (plasmid-encoded genes for aroF, aroB, aroL, pheA) was compared on glucose and glycerol as C sources. On glucose, a maximal carbon recovery of 0.19 mM C(Phe)/C(Glucose) and a maximal space-time-yield (STY) of 0.13 g l(-1) h(-1) was found. With glycerol, the maximal carbon recovery was nearly the same (0.18 mM C(Phe)/C(Glycerol)), but the maximal STY was higher (0.21 g l(-1) h(-1)). We raised the chromosomal gene copy number of the genes glpK (encoding glycerol kinase), tktA (encoding transketolase), and glpX (encoding fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase) individually. Overexpression of glpK (or its feedback-resistant variant, glpK(G232D)) had little effect on growth rate; L-Phe production was about 30% lower than in FUS4/pF81. Whereas the overexpression of either glpX or tktA had minor effects on productivity (0.20 mM C(Phe)/C(Glycerol); 0.25 g l(-1) h(-1) and 0.21 mM C(Phe)/C(Glycerol); 0.23 g l(-1) h(-1), respectively), the combination of extra genes of glpX and tktA together led to an increase in maximal STY of about 80% (0.37 g l(-1) h(-1)) and a carbon recovery of 0.26 mM C(Phe)/C(Glycerol). CONCLUSIONS: Enhancing the gene copy numbers for glpX and tktA increased L-Phe productivity from glycerol without affecting growth rate. Engineering of glycerol metabolism towards L-Phe production in E. coli has to balance the pathways of gluconeogenesis, glycolysis, and PPP to improve the supply of the precursors, PEP and E4P.
Project description:The exopolysaccharide capsule of Streptococcus pneumoniae is an important virulence factor, but the mechanisms that regulate capsule thickness are not fully understood. Here, we investigated the effects of various exogenously supplied carbohydrates on capsule production and gene expression in several pneumococcal serotypes. Microscopy analyses indicated a near absence of the capsular polysaccharide (CPS) when S. pneumoniae was grown on fructose. Moreover, serotype 7F pneumococci produced much less CPS than strains of other serotypes (6B, 6C, 9V, 15, and 23F) when grown on glucose or sucrose. RNA-sequencing revealed carbon source-dependent regulation of distinct genes of WT strains and capsule-switch mutants of serotypes 6B and 7F, but could not explain the mechanism of capsule thickness regulation. In contrast, 31P NMR of whole-cell extract from capsule-knockout strains (?cps) clearly revealed the accumulation or absence of capsule precursor metabolites when cells were grown on glucose or fructose, respectively. This finding suggests that fructose uptake mainly results in intracellular fructose 1-phosphate, which is not converted to CPS precursors. In addition, serotype 7F strains accumulated more precursors than did 6B strains, indicating less efficient conversion of precursor metabolites into the CPS in 7F, in line with its thinner capsule. Finally, isotopologue sucrose labeling and NMR analyses revealed that the uptake of the labeled fructose subunit into the capsule is <10% that of glucose. Our findings on the effects of carbon sources on CPS production in different S. pneumoniae serotypes may contribute to a better understanding of pneumococcal diseases and could inform future therapeutic approaches.
Project description:The yeasts belonging to the Wickerhamiella and Starmerella genera (W/S clade) share a distinctive evolutionary history marked by loss and subsequent reinstatement of alcoholic fermentation mediated by horizontal gene transfer events. Species in this clade also share unusual features of metabolism, namely the preference for fructose over glucose as carbon source, a rare trait known as fructophily. Here we show that fructose may be the preferred sugar in W/S-clade species because, unlike glucose, it can be converted directly to mannitol in a reaction with impact on redox balance. According to our results, mannitol is excreted to the growth medium in appreciable amounts along with other fermentation products such as glycerol and ethanol but unlike the latter metabolites mannitol production increases with temperature. We used comparative genomics to find genes involved in mannitol metabolism and established the mannitol biosynthesis pathway in W/S-clade species Starmerella bombicola using molecular genetics tools. Surprisingly, mannitol production seems to be so important that St. bombicola (and other W/S-clade species) deploys a novel pathway to mediate the conversion of glucose to fructose, thereby allowing cells to produce mannitol even when glucose is the sole carbon source. Using targeted mutations and 13C-labeled glucose followed by NMR analysis of end-products, we showed that the novel mannitol biosynthesis pathway involves fructose-6-phosphate as an intermediate, implying a key role for a yet unknown fructose-6-P phosphatase. We hypothesize that mannitol production contributed to mitigate the negative effects on redox balance of the ancient loss of alcoholic fermentation in the W/S clade. Presently, mannitol also seems to play a role in stress protection.