Project description:The oldest prokaryotic photoautotrophic organisms, cyanobacteria, produce many different metabolites. Among them is the water-soluble neurotoxic non-protein amino acid beta-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), whose biological functions in cyanobacterial metabolism are of fundamental scientific and practical interest. An early BMAA inhibitory effect on nitrogen fixation and heterocyst differentiation was shown in strains of diazotrophic cyanobacteria Nostoc sp. PCC 7120, Nostoc punctiforme PCC 73102 (ATCC 29133), and Nostoc sp. strain 8963 under conditions of nitrogen starvation. Herein, we present a comprehensive proteomic study of Nostoc (also called Anabaena) sp. PCC 7120 in the heterocyst formation stage affecting by BMAA treatment under nitrogen starvation conditions. BMAA disturbs proteins involved in nitrogen and carbon metabolic pathways, which are tightly co-regulated in cyanobacteria cells. The presented evidence shows that exogenous BMAA affects a key nitrogen regulatory protein, PII (GlnB), and some of its protein partners, as well as glutamyl-tRNA synthetase gltX and other proteins that are involved in protein synthesis, heterocyst differentiation, and nitrogen metabolism. By taking into account the important regulatory role of PII, it becomes clear that BMAA has a severe negative impact on the carbon and nitrogen metabolism of starving Nostoc sp. PCC 7120 cells. BMAA disturbs carbon fixation and the carbon dioxide concentrating mechanism, photosynthesis, and amino acid metabolism. Stress response proteins and DNA repair enzymes are upregulated in the presence of BMAA, clearly indicating severe intracellular stress. This is the first proteomic study of the effects of BMAA on diazotrophic starving cyanobacteria cells, allowing a deeper insight into the regulation of the intracellular metabolism of cyanobacteria by this non-protein amino acid.
Project description:The changes in the expression of sigma factor genes during dehydration in terrestrial Nostoc HK-01 and aquatic Anabaena PCC 7120 were determined. The expression of the sigJ gene in terrestrial Nostoc HK-01, which is homologous to sigJ (alr0277) in aquatic Anabaena PCC 7120, was significantly induced in the mid-stage of dehydration. We constructed a higher-expressing transformant of the sigJ gene (HE0277) in Anabaena PCC 7120, and the transformant acquired desiccation tolerance. The results of Anabaena oligonucleotide microarray experiments showed that a comparatively large number of genes relating to polysaccharide biosynthesis were upregulated in the HE0277 cells. The extracellular polysaccharide released into the culture medium of the HE0277 cells was as much as 3.2-fold more than that released by the control cells. This strongly suggests that the group 3 sigma factor gene sigJ is fundamental and conducive to desiccation tolerance in these cyanobacteria.
Project description:To elucidate the biosynthetic pathways of carotenoids, especially myxol 2'-glycosides, in cyanobacteria, Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 (also known as Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120) and Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 deletion mutants lacking selected proposed carotenoid biosynthesis enzymes and GDP-fucose synthase (WcaG), which is required for myxol 2'-fucoside production, were analyzed. The carotenoids in these mutants were identified using high-performance liquid chromatography, field desorption mass spectrometry, and (1)H nuclear magnetic resonance. The wcaG (all4826) deletion mutant of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 produced myxol 2'-rhamnoside and 4-ketomyxol 2'-rhamnoside as polar carotenoids instead of the myxol 2'-fucoside and 4-ketomyxol 2'-fucoside produced by the wild type. Deletion of the corresponding gene in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 (sll1213; 79% amino acid sequence identity with the Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 gene product) produced free myxol instead of the myxol 2'-dimethyl-fucoside produced by the wild type. Free myxol might correspond to the unknown component observed previously in the same mutant (H. E. Mohamed, A. M. L. van de Meene, R. W. Roberson, and W. F. J. Vermaas, J. Bacteriol. 187:6883-6892, 2005). These results indicate that in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120, but not in Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803, rhamnose can be substituted for fucose in myxol glycoside. The beta-carotene hydroxylase orthologue (CrtR, Alr4009) of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 catalyzed the transformation of deoxymyxol and deoxymyxol 2'-fucoside to myxol and myxol 2'-fucoside, respectively, but not the beta-carotene-to-zeaxanthin reaction, whereas CrtR from Synechocystis sp. strain PCC 6803 catalyzed both reactions. Thus, the substrate specificities or substrate availabilities of both fucosyltransferase and CrtR were different in these species. The biosynthetic pathways of carotenoids in Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 are discussed.
Project description:Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120 is a filamentous cyanobacterium commonly used as a model organism for studying cyanobacterial cell differentiation and nitrogen fixation. For many decades, this cyanobacterium was considered an obligate photo-lithoautotroph. We now discovered that this strain is also capable of mixotrophic, photo-organoheterotrophic, and chemo-organoheterotrophic growth if high concentrations of fructose (at least 50 mM and up to 200 mM) are supplied. Glucose, a substrate used by some facultatively organoheterotrophic cyanobacteria, is not effective in Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. The gtr gene from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 encoding a glucose carrier was introduced into Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. Surprisingly, the new strain containing the gtr gene did not grow on glucose but was very sensitive to glucose, with a 5 mM concentration being lethal, whereas the wild-type strain tolerated 200 mM glucose. The Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 strain containing gtr can grow mixotrophically and photo-organoheterotrophically, but not chemo-organoheterotrophically with fructose. Anabaena sp. PCC 7120 contains five respiratory chains ending in five different respiratory terminal oxidases. One of these enzymes is a mitochondrial-type cytochrome c oxidase. As in almost all cyanobacteria, this enzyme is encoded by three adjacent genes called coxBAC1. When this locus was disrupted, the cells lost the capability for chemo-organoheterotrophic growth.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The maturation of hydrogenases into active enzymes is a complex process and e.g. a correctly assembled active site requires the involvement of at least seven proteins, encoded by hypABCDEF and a hydrogenase specific protease, encoded either by hupW or hoxW. The N2-fixing cyanobacterium Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120 may contain both an uptake and a bidirectional hydrogenase. The present study addresses the presence and expression of hyp-genes in Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120. RESULTS: RT-PCRs demonstrated that the six hyp-genes together with one ORF may be transcribed as a single operon. Transcriptional start points (TSPs) were identified 280 bp upstream from hypF and 445 bp upstream of hypC, respectively, demonstrating the existence of several transcripts. In addition, five upstream ORFs located in between hupSL, encoding the small and large subunits of the uptake hydrogenase, and the hyp-operon, and two downstream ORFs from the hyp-genes were shown to be part of the same transcript unit. A third TSP was identified 45 bp upstream of asr0689, the first of five ORFs in this operon. The ORFs are annotated as encoding unknown proteins, with the exception of alr0692 which is identified as a NifU-like protein. Orthologues of the four ORFs asr0689-alr0692, with a highly conserved genomic arrangement positioned between hupSL, and the hyp genes are found in several other N2-fixing cyanobacteria, but are absent in non N2-fixing cyanobacteria with only the bidirectional hydrogenase. Short conserved sequences were found in six intergenic regions of the extended hyp-operon, appearing between 11 and 79 times in the genome. CONCLUSION: This study demonstrated that five ORFs upstream of the hyp-gene cluster are co-transcribed with the hyp-genes, and identified three TSPs in the extended hyp-gene cluster in Nostoc sp. strain PCC 7120. This may indicate a function related to the assembly of a functional uptake hydrogenase, hypothetically in the assembly of the small subunit of the enzyme.