An ArsR/SmtB family member regulates arsenic resistance genes unusually arranged in Thermus thermophilus HB27.
ABSTRACT: Arsenic resistance is commonly clustered in ars operons in bacteria; main ars operon components encode an arsenate reductase, a membrane extrusion protein, and an As-sensitive transcription factor. In the As-resistant thermophile Thermus thermophilus HB27, genes encoding homologues of these proteins are interspersed in the chromosome. In this article, we show that two adjacent genes, TtsmtB, encoding an ArsR/SmtB transcriptional repressor and, TTC0354, encoding a Zn2+ /Cd2+ -dependent membrane ATPase are involved in As resistance; differently from characterized ars operons, the two genes are transcribed from dedicated promoters upstream of their respective genes, whose expression is differentially regulated at transcriptional level. Mutants defective in TtsmtB or TTC0354 are more sensitive to As than the wild type, proving their role in arsenic resistance. Recombinant dimeric TtSmtB binds in vitro to both promoters, but its binding capability decreases upon interaction with arsenate and, less efficiently, with arsenite. In vivo and in vitro experiments also demonstrate that the arsenate reductase (TtArsC) is subjected to regulation by TtSmtB. We propose a model for the regulation of As resistance in T. thermophilus in which TtSmtB is the arsenate sensor responsible for the induction of TtArsC which generates arsenite exported by TTC0354 efflux protein to detoxify cells.
Project description:Microbial arsenate reduction affects the fate and transport of arsenic in the environment. Arsenate respiratory (arr) and detoxifying (ars) reduction pathways in Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3 are induced by arsenite and under anaerobic conditions. Here it is shown that an ArsR family protein, called ArsR2, regulates the arsenate respiratory reduction pathway in response to elevated arsenite under anaerobic conditions. Strains lacking arsR2 grew faster in the presence of high levels of arsenite (3 mM). Moreover, expression of arrA and arsC (arsenate reductase-encoding genes) in the DeltaarsR2 mutant of ANA-3 were increased in cells grown under anaerobic conditions and in the absence of arsenic. Mutations in putative arsenic binding amino acid residues in ArsR2 (substitutions of Cys-30 and Cys-32 with Ser) resulted in ANA-3 strains that exhibited anaerobic growth deficiencies with high levels of arsenite and arsenate. DNA binding studies with purified ArsR2 showed that ArsR2 binding to the arr promoter region was impaired by trivalent arsenicals such as arsenite and phenylarsine oxide. However, ArsR2 binding occurred in the presence of arsenate. A second known regulator of the arr operon, cyclic AMP (cAMP)-cAMP receptor protein (CRP), could bind simultaneously with ArsR2 within the arr promoter region. It is concluded that ArsR2 is most likely the major arsenite-dependent regulator of arr and ars operons in Shewanella sp. strain ANA-3. However, anaerobic growth on arsenate will require coregulation with global regulators such as cAMP-CRP.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Arsenic (As) is a natural metalloid, widely used in anthropogenic activities, that can exist in different oxidation states. Throughout the world, there are several environments contaminated with high amounts of arsenic where many organisms can survive. The most stable arsenical species are arsenate and arsenite that can be subject to chemically and microbiologically oxidation, reduction and methylation reactions. Organisms surviving in arsenic contaminated environments can have a diversity of mechanisms to resist to the harmful effects of arsenical compounds. RESULTS: The highly metal resistant Ochrobactrum tritici SCII24 was able to grow in media with arsenite (50 mM), arsenate (up to 200 mM) and antimonite (10 mM). This strain contains two arsenic and antimony resistance operons (ars1 and ars2), which were cloned and sequenced. Sequence analysis indicated that ars1 operon contains five genes encoding the following proteins: ArsR, ArsD, ArsA, CBS-domain-containing protein and ArsB. The ars2 operon is composed of six genes that encode two other ArsR, two ArsC (belonging to different families of arsenate reductases), one ACR3 and one ArsH-like protein. The involvement of ars operons in arsenic resistance was confirmed by cloning both of them in an Escherichia coli ars-mutant. The ars1 operon conferred resistance to arsenite and antimonite on E. coli cells, whereas the ars2 operon was also responsible for resistance to arsenite and arsenate. Although arsH was not required for arsenate resistance, this gene seems to be important to confer high levels of arsenite resistance. None of ars1 genes were detected in the other type strains of genus Ochrobactrum, but sequences homologous with ars2 operon were identified in some strains. CONCLUSION: A new strategy for bacterial arsenic resistance is described in this work. Two operons involved in arsenic resistance, one giving resistance to arsenite and antimonite and the other giving resistance to arsenate were found in the same bacterial strain.
Project description:Corynebacterium glutamicum is able to grow in media containing up to 12 mM arsenite and 500 mM arsenate and is one of the most arsenic-resistant microorganisms described to date. Two operons (ars1 and ars2) involved in arsenate and arsenite resistance have been identified in the complete genome sequence of Corynebacterium glutamicum. The operons ars1 and ars2 are located some distance from each other in the bacterial chromosome, but they are both composed of genes encoding a regulatory protein (arsR), an arsenite permease (arsB), and an arsenate reductase (arsC); operon ars1 contains an additional arsenate reductase gene (arsC1') located immediately downstream from arsC1. Additional arsenite permease and arsenate reductase genes (arsB3 and arsC4) scattered on the chromosome were also identified. The involvement of ars operons in arsenic resistance in C. glutamicum was confirmed by gene disruption experiments of the three arsenite permease genes present in its genome. Wild-type and arsB3 insertional mutant C. glutamicum strains were able to grow with up to 12 mM arsenite, whereas arsB1 and arsB2 C. glutamicum insertional mutants were resistant to 4 mM and 9 mM arsenite, respectively. The double arsB1-arsB2 insertional mutant was resistant to only 0.4 mM arsenite and 10 mM arsenate. Gene amplification assays of operons ars1 and ars2 in C. glutamicum revealed that the recombinant strains containing the ars1 operon were resistant to up to 60 mM arsenite, this being one of the highest levels of bacterial resistance to arsenite so far described, whereas recombinant strains containing operon ars2 were resistant to only 20 mM arsenite. Northern blot and reverse transcription-PCR analysis confirmed the presence of transcripts for all the ars genes, the expression of arsB3 and arsC4 being constitutive, and the expression of arsR1, arsB1, arsC1, arsC1', arsR2, arsB2, and arsC2 being inducible by arsenite.
Project description:We report a novel pathway for arsenic detoxification in the legume symbiont Sinorhizobium meliloti. Although a majority of ars operons consist of three genes, arsR (transcriptional regulator), arsB [As(OH)3/H+ antiporter], and arsC (arsenate reductase), the S. meliloti ars operon includes an aquaglyceroporin (aqpS) in place of arsB. The presence of AqpS in an arsenic resistance operon is interesting, since aquaglyceroporin channels have previously been shown to adventitiously facilitate uptake of arsenite into cells, rendering them sensitive to arsenite. To understand the role of aqpS in arsenic resistance, S. meliloti aqpS and arsC were disrupted individually. Disruption of aqpS resulted in increased tolerance to arsenite but not arsenate, while cells with an arsC disruption showed selective sensitivity to arsenate. The results of transport experiments in intact cells suggest that AqpS is the only protein of the S. meliloti ars operon that facilitates transport of arsenite. Coexpression of S. meliloti aqpS and arsC in a strain of E. coli lacking the ars operon complemented arsenate but not arsenite sensitivity. These results imply that, when S. meliloti is exposed to environmental arsenate, arsenate enters the cell through phosphate transport systems and is reduced to arsenite by ArsC. Internally generated arsenite flows out of the cell by downhill movement through AqpS. Thus, AqpS confers arsenate resistance together with ArsC-catalyzed reduction. This is the first report of an aquaglyceroporin with a physiological function in arsenic resistance.
Project description:The genetic organization of the aioBA operon, encoding the arsenite oxidase of the moderately acidophilic and facultative chemoautotrophic bacterium Thiomonas arsenitoxydans, is different from that of the aioBA operon in the other arsenite oxidizers, in that it encodes AioF, a metalloprotein belonging to the ArsR/SmtB family. AioF is stabilized by arsenite, arsenate, or antimonite but not molybdate. Arsenic is tightly attached to AioF, likely by cysteine residues. When loaded with arsenite or arsenate, AioF is able to bind specifically to the regulatory region of the aio operon at two distinct positions. In Thiomonas arsenitoxydans, the promoters of aioX and aioB are convergent, suggesting that transcriptional interference occurs. These results indicate that the regulation of the aioBA operon is more complex in Thiomonas arsenitoxydans than in the other aioBA containing arsenite oxidizers and that the arsenic binding protein AioF is involved in this regulation. On the basis of these data, a model to explain the tight control of aioBA expression by arsenic in Thiomonas arsenitoxydans is proposed.
Project description:The arsenic resistance operon from Staphylococcus aureus plasmid pI258 was cloned and sequenced. The DNA sequence contains three genes in the order arsR, arsB, and arsC. The predicted amino acid sequences of the gene products are homologous with those of the products of the ars operons of plasmids pSX267 from Staphylococcus xylosus and R773 from Escherichia coli. The cloned staphylococcal ars operon confers resistances to arsenate, arsenite, and antimonite in S. aureus and Bacillus subtilis. The same operon was also expressed in E. coli and conferred resistance to arsenite but less resistance to arsenate and antimonite. Regulation of the pI258 ars operon was studied by using a translational arsB-blaZ fusion in S. aureus and a transcriptional arsB-luxAB fusion in E. coli. The ars operon was induced by arsenate [As(V)], arsenite [As(III)], and antimonite [Sb(III)], to which the strains were resistant, plus Bi(III) in S. aureus. Only arsenate and arsenite induced the operon in E. coli. Northern (RNA) blot DNA-RNA hybridization analysis showed inducible synthesis of a full-length ars mRNA, about 2.1 kb in size, both in S. aureus and in E. coli. S. aureus ars proteins were expressed in E. coli from the T7 phage promoter under the control of the T7 RNA polymerase. Primer extension (reverse transcriptase) analysis showed that the ars mRNA started at the same position (nucleotides 17 and 18 upstream from the arsR ATG) both in S. aureus and in E. coli. An internal deletion mutation in arsB resulted in decreased resistance to arsenate and total loss of arsenite and antimonite resistances. Partial deletion of 56 bp from the 3' end of the arsC gene resulted in loss of resistance to arsenate; the determinant retained arsenite and antimonite resistances.
Project description:Arsenic is a known toxic metalloid, whose trivalent and pentavalent ions can inhibit many biochemical processes. Operons which encode arsenic resistance have been found in multicopy plasmids from both gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria. The resistance mechanism is encoded from a single operon which typically consists of an arsenite ion-inducible repressor that regulates expression of an arsenate reductase and inner membrane-associated arsenite export system. Using a lacZ transcriptional gene fusion library, we have identified an Escherichia coli operon whose expression is induced by cellular exposure to sodium arsenite at concentrations as low as 5 micrograms/liter. This chromosomal operon was cloned, sequenced, and found to consist of three cistrons which we named arsR, arsB, and arsC because of their strong homology to plasmid-borne ars operons. Mutants in the chromosomal ars operon were found to be approximately 10- to 100-fold more sensitive to sodium arsenate and arsenite exposure than wild-type E. coli, while wild-type E. coli that contained the operon cloned on a ColE1-based plasmid was found to be at least 2- to 10-fold more resistant to sodium arsenate and arsenite. Moreover, Southern blotting and high-stringency hybridization of this operon with chromosomal DNAs from a number of bacterial species showed homologous sequences among members of the family Enterobacteriaceae, and hybridization was detectable even in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These results suggest that the chromosomal ars operon may be the evolutionary precursor of the plasmid-borne operon, as a multicopy plasmid location would allow the operon to be amplified and its products to confer increased resistance to this toxic metalloid.
Project description:Microbial biotransformations are major contributors to the arsenic biogeocycle. In parallel with transformations of inorganic arsenic, organoarsenicals pathways have recently been recognized as important components of global cycling of arsenic. The well-characterized pathway of resistance to arsenate is reduction coupled to arsenite efflux. Here, we describe a new pathway of arsenate resistance involving biosynthesis and extrusion of an unusual pentavalent organoarsenical. A number of arsenic resistance (ars) operons have two genes of unknown function that are linked in these operons. One, gapdh, encodes the glycolytic enzyme glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. The other, arsJ, encodes a major facilitator superfamily (MFS) protein. The two genes were cloned from the chromosome of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. When expressed together, but not alone, in Escherichia coli, gapdh and arsJ specifically conferred resistance to arsenate and decreased accumulation of As(V). Everted membrane vesicles from cells expressing arsJ accumulated As(V) in the presence of purified GAPDH, D-glceraldehylde 3-phosphate (G3P) and NAD(+) . GAPDH forms the unstable organoarsenical 1-arseno-3-phosphoglycerate (1As3PGA). We propose that ArsJ is an efflux permease that extrudes 1As3PGA from cells, where it rapidly dissociates into As(V) and 3-phosphoglycerate (3PGA), creating a novel pathway of arsenate resistance.
Project description:Microbial expression of genes for resistance to heavy metals and metalloids is usually transcriptionally regulated by the toxic ions themselves. Arsenic is a ubiquitous, naturally occurring toxic metalloid widely distributed in soil and groundwater. Microbes biotransform both arsenate (As(V)) and arsenite (As(III)) into more toxic methylated metabolites methylarsenite (MAs(III)) and dimethylarsenite (DMAs(III)). Environmental arsenic is sensed by members of the ArsR/SmtB family. The arsR gene is autoregulated and is typically part of an operon that contains other ars genes involved in arsenic detoxification. To date every identified ArsR is regulated by inorganic As(III). Here we described a novel ArsR from Shewanella putrefaciens selective for MAs(III). SpArsR orthologs control expression of two MAs(III) resistance genes, arsP that encodes the ArsP MAs(III) efflux permease, and arsH encoding the ArsH MAs(III) oxidase. SpArsR has two conserved cysteine residues, Cys101 and Cys102. Mutation of either resulted in loss of MAs(III) binding, indicating that they form an MAs(III) binding site. SpArsR can be converted into an As(III)-responsive repressor by introduction of an additional cysteine that allows for three-coordinate As(III) binding. Our results indicate that SpArsR evolved selectivity for MAs(III) over As(III) in order to control expression of genes for MAs(III) detoxification.
Project description:The remarkable metal resistance of many microorganisms is related to the presence of multiple metal resistance operons. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 can be considered a model for these microorganisms since its arsenic resistance is due to the action of proteins encoded by the two paralogous arsenic resistance operons ARS1 and ARS2. Both operons contain the genes encoding the transcriptional regulators ArsR1 and ArsR2 that control operon expression. We show here that purified ArsR1 and ArsR2 bind the trivalent salt of arsenic (arsenite) with similar affinities (~30 ?M), whereas no binding is observed for the pentavalent salt (arsenate). Furthermore, trivalent salts of bismuth and antimony showed binding to both paralogues. The positions of cysteines, found to bind arsenic in other homologues, indicate that ArsR1 and ArsR2 employ different modes of arsenite recognition. Both paralogues are dimeric and possess significant thermal stability. Both proteins were used to construct whole-cell, lacZ-based biosensors. Whereas responses to bismuth were negligible, significant responses were observed for arsenite, arsenate, and antimony. Biosensors based on the P. putida arsB1 arsB2 arsenic efflux pump double mutant were significantly more sensitive than biosensors based on the wild-type strain. This sensitivity enhancement by pump mutation may be a convenient strategy for the construction of other biosensors. A frequent limitation found for other arsenic biosensors was their elevated background signal and interference by inorganic phosphate. The constructed biosensors show no interference by inorganic phosphate, are characterized by a very low background signal, and were found to be suitable to analyze environmental samples.Arsenic is at the top of the priority list of hazardous compounds issued by the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease. The reason for the stunning arsenic resistance of many microorganisms is the existence of paralogous arsenic resistance operons. Pseudomonas putida KT2440 is a model organism for such bacteria, and their duplicated ars operons and in particular their ArsR transcription regulators have been studied in depth by in vivo approaches. Here we present an analysis of both purified ArsR paralogues by different biophysical techniques, and data obtained provide valuable insight into their structure and function. Particularly insightful was the comparison of ArsR effector profiles determined by in vitro and in vivo experimentation. We also report the use of both paralogues to construct robust and highly sensitive arsenic biosensors. Our finding that the deletion of both arsenic efflux pumps significantly increases biosensor sensitivity is of general relevance in the biosensor field.