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Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1472-3646 - ISSN (Online) 1472-3654
Published by Hindawi [333 journals]
- Construction of Expression Shuttle Vectors for the Haloarchaeon Natrinema
sp. J7 Based on Its Chromosomal Origins of Replication
Abstract: Haloarchaeon Natrinema sp. J7, the first reported archaeon harboring both plasmid and chromosome-based temperate viruses, is a useful model for investigating archaeal virus-host and virus-virus interactions. However, the lack of genetic tools has limited such studies. On the basis of the automatically replicating sequences of the J7 chromosome and the pyrF marker, we constructed seven vectors, six of which were confirmed to possess replication ability in a pyrF-deletion derivative of J7 (J7-F). Among these vectors, pFJ1, pFJ4, and pFJ6 could be transformed into the host strain with relatively high efficiency (approximately 103 colony-forming units/μg DNA) and were present at about one copy per chromosome. These three vectors could be stably maintained in J7-F without selection and were used for heterologous protein expression. Only pFJ6 was found to be present in the transformed cells in an exclusively episomal, nonintegrated state (one copy per chromosome). In contrast, some pFJ1 and pFJ4 DNA was probably integrated into the J7-F chromosome. In addition, pFJ6 was found to be compatible with pYCJ in J7 cells, suggesting that these two vectors could be used for further studies of virus-virus and virus-host interactions.
PubDate: Wed, 01 Mar 2017 08:19:05 +000
- Transfection Studies with Colloidal Systems Containing Highly Purified
Bipolar Tetraether Lipids from Sulfolobus acidocaldarius
Abstract: Lipid vectors are commonly used to facilitate the transfer of nucleic acids into mammalian cells. In this study, two fractions of tetraether lipids from the archaea Sulfolobus acidocaldarius were extracted and purified using different methods. The purified lipid fractions polar lipid fraction E (PLFE) and hydrolysed glycerol-dialkyl-nonitol tetraether (hGDNT) differ in their structures, charge, size, and miscibility from conventional lipids. Liposomes were prepared by mixing tetraether lipids with cholesterol (CH) and 1,2-dioleoyl-3-trimethylammonium-propane (DOTAP) resulting in stable vectors for gene delivery. Lipoplexes were prepared by complexation of liposomes with a luciferase expressing plasmid (pCMV-luc) at certain nitrogen-to-phosphorus (N/P) ratios and optimised for the transient transfection of ovarian adenocarcinoma cells (SK-OV-3). Complexation efficacy was investigated by gel-red fluorescence assay. Biophysical properties, like size, surface charge, and morphology, were investigated by differential light scattering (DLS), atomic force microscopy (AFM), and scanning electron microscopy (Cryo-SEM), respectively, revealing structural differences between liposomes and lipoplexes. A range of stable transfecting agents containing tetraether lipids were obtained by incorporating 5 mol% of tetraether lipids. Lipoplexes showed a decrease in free gel-red with increasing N/P ratios indicating efficient incorporation of plasmid DNA (pDNA) and remarkable stability. Transfection experiments of the lipoplexes revealed successful and superior transfection of SK-OV-3 cell line compared to the commercially available DOTAP and branched polyethyleneimine (25 kDa bPEI).
PubDate: Mon, 23 Jan 2017 00:00:00 +000
- Reverse Methanogenesis and Respiration in Methanotrophic Archaea
Abstract: Anaerobic oxidation of methane (AOM) is catalyzed by anaerobic methane-oxidizing archaea (ANME) via a reverse and modified methanogenesis pathway. Methanogens can also reverse the methanogenesis pathway to oxidize methane, but only during net methane production (i.e., “trace methane oxidation”). In turn, ANME can produce methane, but only during net methane oxidation (i.e., enzymatic back flux). Net AOM is exergonic when coupled to an external electron acceptor such as sulfate (ANME-1, ANME-2abc, and ANME-3), nitrate (ANME-2d), or metal (oxides). In this review, the reversibility of the methanogenesis pathway and essential differences between ANME and methanogens are described by combining published information with domain based (meta)genome comparison of archaeal methanotrophs and selected archaea. These differences include abundances and special structure of methyl coenzyme M reductase and of multiheme cytochromes and the presence of menaquinones or methanophenazines. ANME-2a and ANME-2d can use electron acceptors other than sulfate or nitrate for AOM, respectively. Environmental studies suggest that ANME-2d are also involved in sulfate-dependent AOM. ANME-1 seem to use a different mechanism for disposal of electrons and possibly are less versatile in electron acceptors use than ANME-2. Future research will shed light on the molecular basis of reversal of the methanogenic pathway and electron transfer in different ANME types.
PubDate: Thu, 05 Jan 2017 08:21:05 +000
- Genome-Scale Metabolic Modeling of Archaea Lends Insight into Diversity of
Abstract: Decades of biochemical, bioinformatic, and sequencing data are currently being systematically compiled into genome-scale metabolic reconstructions (GEMs). Such reconstructions are knowledge-bases useful for engineering, modeling, and comparative analysis. Here we review the fifteen GEMs of archaeal species that have been constructed to date. They represent primarily members of the Euryarchaeota with three-quarters comprising representative of methanogens. Unlike other reviews on GEMs, we specially focus on archaea. We briefly review the GEM construction process and the genealogy of the archaeal models. The major insights gained during the construction of these models are then reviewed with specific focus on novel metabolic pathway predictions and growth characteristics. Metabolic pathway usage is discussed in the context of the composition of each organism’s biomass and their specific energy and growth requirements. We show how the metabolic models can be used to study the evolution of metabolism in archaea. Conservation of particular metabolic pathways can be studied by comparing reactions using the genes associated with their enzymes. This demonstrates the utility of GEMs to evolutionary studies, far beyond their original purpose of metabolic modeling; however, much needs to be done before archaeal models are as extensively complete as those for bacteria.
PubDate: Wed, 04 Jan 2017 06:20:45 +000
- Marine Subsurface Microbial Community Shifts Across a Hydrothermal
Gradient in Okinawa Trough Sediments
Abstract: Sediments within the Okinawa back-arc basin overlay a subsurface hydrothermal network, creating intense temperature gradients with sediment depth and potential limits for microbial diversity. We investigated taxonomic changes across 45 m of recovered core with a temperature gradient of 3°C/m from the dynamic Iheya North Hydrothermal System. The interval transitions sharply from low-temperature marine mud to hydrothermally altered clay at 10 meters below seafloor (mbsf). Here, we present taxonomic results from an analysis of the 16S rRNA gene that support a conceptual model in which common marine subsurface taxa persist into the subsurface, while high temperature adapted archaeal taxa show localized peaks in abundances in the hydrothermal clay horizons. Specifically, the bacterial phylum Chloroflexi accounts for a major proportion of the total microbial community within the upper 10 mbsf, whereas high temperature archaea (Terrestrial Hot Spring Crenarchaeotic Group and methanotrophic archaea) appear in varying local abundances in deeper, hydrothermal clay horizons with higher in situ temperatures (up to 55°C, 15 mbsf). In addition, geochemical evidence suggests that methanotrophy may be occurring in various horizons. There is also relict DNA (i.e., DNA preserved after cell death) that persists in horizons where the conditions suitable for microbial communities have ceased.
PubDate: Tue, 20 Dec 2016 12:33:08 +000
- Comparative Analysis of Methanogenic Communities in Different
Laboratory-Scale Anaerobic Digesters
Abstract: Comparative analysis of methanogenic archaea compositions and dynamics in 11 laboratory-scale continuous stirred tank reactors fed with different agricultural materials (chicken manure, cattle manure, maize straw, maize silage, distillers grains, and Jatropha press cake) was carried out by analysis of the methyl coenzyme-M reductase -subunit (mcrA) gene. Various taxa within Methanomicrobiales, Methanobacteriaceae, Methanosarcinaceae, Methanosaetaceae, and Methanomassiliicoccales were detected in the biogas reactors but in different proportions depending on the substrate type utilized as well as various process parameters. Improved coverage and higher taxonomic resolution of methanogens were obtained compared to a previous 16S rRNA gene based study of the same reactors. Some members of the genus Methanoculleus positively correlated with the relative methane content, whereas opposite correlations were found for Methanobacterium. Specific biogas production was found to be significantly correlating with Methanosarcinaceae. Statistical analysis also disclosed that some members of the genus Methanoculleus positively correlated with the ammonia level, whereas the prevalence of Methanocorpusculum, Methanobacterium, and Methanosaeta was negatively correlated with this parameter. These results suggest that the application of methanogenic archaea adapted to specific feedstock might enhance the anaerobic digestion of such waste materials in full-scale biogas reactors.
PubDate: Thu, 15 Dec 2016 14:29:47 +000
- Volatile Fatty Acids Production from Codigestion of Food Waste and Sewage
Sludge Based on β-Cyclodextrins and Alkaline Treatments
Abstract: Volatile fatty acids (VFAs) are preferred valuable resources, which can be produced from anaerobic digestion process. This study presents a novel technology using β-cyclodextrins (β-CD) pretreatment integrated alkaline method to enhance VFAs production from codigestion of food waste and sewage sludge. Experiment results showed that optimized ratio of food waste to sewage sludge was 3 : 2 because it provided adequate organic substance and seed microorganisms. Based on this optimized ratio, the integrated treatment of alkaline pH 10 and β-CD addition (0.2 g/g TS) performed the best enhancement on VFAs production, and the maximum VFAs production was 8631.7 mg/L which was 6.13, 1.38, and 1.57 times higher than that of control, initial pH 10, and 0.2 g β-CD/g TS treatment, respectively. Furthermore, the hydrolysis rate of protein and polysaccharides was greatly improved in integration treatment, which was 1.18–3.45 times higher than that of other tests. Though the VFAs production and hydrolysis of polymeric organics were highly enhanced, the primary bacterial communities with different treatments did not show substantial differences.
PubDate: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 09:07:45 +000
- The Distribution Pattern of Sediment Archaea Community of the Poyang Lake,
the Largest Freshwater Lake in China
Abstract: Archaea plays an important role in the global geobiochemical circulation of various environments. However, much less is known about the ecological role of archaea in freshwater lake sediments. Thus, investigating the structure and diversity of archaea community is vital to understand the metabolic processes in freshwater lake ecosystems. In this study, sediment physicochemical properties were combined with the results from 16S rRNA clone library-sequencing to examine the sediment archaea diversity and the environmental factors driving the sediment archaea community structures. Seven sites were chosen from Poyang Lake, including two sites from the main lake body and five sites from the inflow river estuaries. Our results revealed high diverse archaea community in the sediment of Poyang Lake, including Bathyarchaeota (45.5%), Euryarchaeota (43.1%), Woesearchaeota (3.6%), Pacearchaeota (1.7%), Thaumarchaeota (1.4%), suspended Lokiarchaeota (0.7%), Aigarchaeota (0.2%), and Unclassified Archaea (3.8%). The archaea community compositions differed among sites, and sediment property had considerable influence on archaea community structures and distribution, especially total organic carbon (TOC) and metal lead (Pb) (). This study provides primary profile of sediment archaea distribution in freshwater lakes and helps to deepen our understanding of lake sediment microbes.
PubDate: Tue, 13 Dec 2016 10:08:13 +000
- Deciphering the Translation Initiation Factor 5A Modification Pathway in
Abstract: Translation initiation factor 5A (IF5A) is essential and highly conserved in Eukarya (eIF5A) and Archaea (aIF5A). The activity of IF5A requires hypusine, a posttranslational modification synthesized in Eukarya from the polyamine precursor spermidine. Intracellular polyamine analyses revealed that agmatine and cadaverine were the main polyamines produced in Haloferax volcanii in minimal medium, raising the question of how hypusine is synthesized in this halophilic Archaea. Metabolic reconstruction led to a tentative picture of polyamine metabolism and aIF5A modification in Hfx. volcanii that was experimentally tested. Analysis of aIF5A from Hfx. volcanii by LC-MS/MS revealed it was exclusively deoxyhypusinylated. Genetic studies confirmed the role of the predicted arginine decarboxylase gene (HVO_1958) in agmatine synthesis. The agmatinase-like gene (HVO_2299) was found to be essential, consistent with a role in aIF5A modification predicted by physical clustering evidence. Recombinant deoxyhypusine synthase (DHS) from S. cerevisiae was shown to transfer 4-aminobutyl moiety from spermidine to aIF5A from Hfx. volcanii in vitro. However, at least under conditions tested, this transfer was not observed with the Hfx. volcanii DHS. Furthermore, the growth of Hfx. volcanii was not inhibited by the classical DHS inhibitor GC7. We propose a model of deoxyhypusine synthesis in Hfx. volcanii that differs from the canonical eukaryotic pathway, paving the way for further studies.
PubDate: Thu, 08 Dec 2016 15:53:00 +000
- Arguments Reinforcing the Three-Domain View of Diversified Cellular Life
Abstract: The archaeal ancestor scenario (AAS) for the origin of eukaryotes implies the emergence of a new kind of organism from the fusion of ancestral archaeal and bacterial cells. Equipped with this “chimeric” molecular arsenal, the resulting cell would gradually accumulate unique genes and develop the complex molecular machineries and cellular compartments that are hallmarks of modern eukaryotes. In this regard, proteins related to phagocytosis and cell movement should be present in the archaeal ancestor, thus identifying the recently described candidate archaeal phylum “Lokiarchaeota” as resembling a possible candidate ancestor of eukaryotes. Despite its appeal, AAS seems incompatible with the genomic, molecular, and biochemical differences that exist between Archaea and Eukarya. In particular, the distribution of conserved protein domain structures in the proteomes of cellular organisms and viruses appears hard to reconcile with the AAS. In addition, concerns related to taxon and character sampling, presupposing bacterial outgroups in phylogenies, and nonuniform effects of protein domain structure rearrangement and gain/loss in concatenated alignments of protein sequences cast further doubt on AAS-supporting phylogenies. Here, we evaluate AAS against the traditional “three-domain” world of cellular organisms and propose that the discovery of Lokiarchaeota could be better reconciled under the latter view, especially in light of several additional biological and technical considerations.
PubDate: Mon, 05 Dec 2016 15:19:06 +000
- Unusually High Archaeal Diversity in a Crystallizer Pond, Pomorie
Salterns, Bulgaria, Revealed by Phylogenetic Analysis
Abstract: Recent studies on archaeal diversity in few salterns have revealed heterogeneity between sites and unique structures of separate places that hinder drawing of generalized conclusions. Investigations on the archaeal community composition in P18, the biggest crystallizer pond in Pomorie salterns (PS) (34% salinity), demonstrated unusually high number of presented taxa in hypersaline environment. Archaeal clones were grouped in 26 different operational taxonomic units (OTUs) assigned to 15 different genera from two orders, Halobacteriales and Haloferacales. All retrieved sequences were related to culturable halophiles or unculturable clones from saline (mostly hypersaline) niches. New sequences represented 53.9% of archaeal OTUs. Some of them formed separate branches with 90% similarity to the closest neighbor. Present results significantly differed from the previous investigations in regard to the number of presented genera, the domination of some genera not reported before in such extreme niche, and the identification of previously undiscovered 16S rRNA sequences.
PubDate: Wed, 16 Nov 2016 10:12:02 +000
- NADP-Dependent Aldehyde Dehydrogenase from Archaeon Pyrobaculum sp.1860:
Structural and Functional Features
Abstract: We present the functional and structural characterization of the first archaeal thermostable NADP-dependent aldehyde dehydrogenase AlDHPyr1147. In vitro, AlDHPyr1147 catalyzes the irreversible oxidation of short aliphatic aldehydes at 60–85°С, and the affinity of AlDHPyr1147 to the NADP+ at 60°С is comparable to that for mesophilic analogues at 25°С. We determined the structures of the apo form of AlDHPyr1147 (3.04 Å resolution), three binary complexes with the coenzyme (1.90, 2.06, and 2.19 Å), and the ternary complex with the coenzyme and isobutyraldehyde as a substrate (2.66 Å). The nicotinamide moiety of the coenzyme is disordered in two binary complexes, while it is ordered in the ternary complex, as well as in the binary complex obtained after additional soaking with the substrate. AlDHPyr1147 structures demonstrate the strengthening of the dimeric contact (as compared with the analogues) and the concerted conformational flexibility of catalytic Cys287 and Glu253, as well as Leu254 and the nicotinamide moiety of the coenzyme. A comparison of the active sites of AlDHPyr1147 and dehydrogenases characterized earlier suggests that proton relay systems, which were previously proposed for dehydrogenases of this family, are blocked in AlDHPyr1147, and the proton release in the latter can occur through the substrate channel.
PubDate: Thu, 10 Nov 2016 09:36:24 +000
- Archaea in Natural and Impacted Brazilian Environments
Abstract: In recent years, archaeal diversity surveys have received increasing attention. Brazil is a country known for its natural diversity and variety of biomes, which makes it an interesting sampling site for such studies. However, archaeal communities in natural and impacted Brazilian environments have only recently been investigated. In this review, based on a search on the PubMed database on the last week of April 2016, we present and discuss the results obtained in the 51 studies retrieved, focusing on archaeal communities in water, sediments, and soils of different Brazilian environments. We concluded that, in spite of its vast territory and biomes, the number of publications focusing on archaeal detection and/or characterization in Brazil is still incipient, indicating that these environments still represent a great potential to be explored.
PubDate: Mon, 17 Oct 2016 07:13:33 +000
- Characterization of a Thermostable 8-Oxoguanine DNA Glycosylase Specific
for GO/N Mismatches from the Thermoacidophilic Archaeon Thermoplasma
Abstract: The oxidation of guanine (G) to 7,8-dihydro-8-oxoguanine (GO) forms one of the major DNA lesions generated by reactive oxygen species (ROS). The GO can be corrected by GO DNA glycosylases (Ogg), enzymes involved in base excision repair (BER). Unrepaired GO induces mismatched base pairing with adenine (A); as a result, the mismatch causes a point mutation, from G paired with cytosine (C) to thymine (T) paired with adenine (A), during DNA replication. Here, we report the characterization of a putative Ogg from the thermoacidophilic archaeon Thermoplasma volcanium. The 204-amino acid sequence of the putative Ogg (TVG_RS00315) shares significant sequence homology with the DNA glycosylases of Methanocaldococcus jannaschii (MjaOgg) and Sulfolobus solfataricus (SsoOgg). The six histidine-tagged recombinant TVG_RS00315 protein gene was expressed in Escherichia coli and purified. The Ogg protein is thermostable, with optimal activity near a pH of 7.5 and a temperature of 60°C. The enzyme displays DNA glycosylase, and apurinic/apyrimidinic (AP) lyase activities on GO/N (where N is A, T, G, or C) mismatch; yet it cannot eliminate U from U/G or T from T/G, as mismatch glycosylase (MIG) can. These results indicate that TvoOgg-encoding TVG_RS00315 is a member of the Ogg2 family of T. volcanium.
PubDate: Wed, 05 Oct 2016 06:28:39 +000
- Birth of Archaeal Cells: Molecular Phylogenetic Analyses of G1P
Dehydrogenase, G3P Dehydrogenases, and Glycerol Kinase Suggest Derived
Features of Archaeal Membranes Having G1P Polar Lipids
Abstract: Bacteria and Eukarya have cell membranes with sn-glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P), whereas archaeal membranes contain sn-glycerol-1-phosphate (G1P). Determining the time at which cells with either G3P-lipid membranes or G1P-lipid membranes appeared is important for understanding the early evolution of terrestrial life. To clarify this issue, we reconstructed molecular phylogenetic trees of G1PDH (G1P dehydrogenase; EgsA/AraM) which is responsible for G1P synthesis and G3PDHs (G3P dehydrogenase; GpsA and GlpA/GlpD) and glycerol kinase (GlpK) which is responsible for G3P synthesis. Together with the distribution of these protein-encoding genes among archaeal and bacterial groups, our phylogenetic analyses suggested that GlpA/GlpD in the Commonote (the last universal common ancestor of all extant life with a cellular form, Commonote commonote) acquired EgsA (G1PDH) from the archaeal common ancestor (Commonote archaea) and acquired GpsA and GlpK from a bacterial common ancestor (Commonote bacteria). In our scenario based on this study, the Commonote probably possessed a G3P-lipid membrane synthesized enzymatically, after which the archaeal lineage acquired G1PDH followed by the replacement of a G3P-lipid membrane with a G1P-lipid membrane.
PubDate: Wed, 28 Sep 2016 10:19:37 +000
- Discovering Antioxidant Molecules in the Archaea Domain: Peroxiredoxin
Bcp1 from Sulfolobus solfataricus Protects H9c2 Cardiomyoblasts from
Abstract: Peroxiredoxins (Prxs) are ubiquitous thiol peroxidases that are involved in the reduction of peroxides. It has been reported that prokaryotic Prxs generally show greater structural robustness than their eukaryotic counterparts, making them less prone to inactivation by overoxidation. This difference has inspired the search for new antioxidants from prokaryotic sources that can be used as possible therapeutic biodrugs. Bacterioferritin comigratory proteins (Bcps) of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus solfataricus that belong to the Prx family have recently been characterized. One of these proteins, Bcp1, was chosen to determine its antioxidant effects in H9c2 rat cardiomyoblast cells. Bcp1 activity was measured in vitro under physiological temperature and pH conditions that are typical of mammalian cells; the yeast thioredoxin reductase (yTrxR)/thioredoxin (yTrx) reducing system was used to evaluate enzyme activity. A TAT-Bcp1 fusion protein was constructed to allow its internalization and verify the effect of Bcp1 on H9c2 rat cardiomyoblasts subjected to oxidative stress. The results reveal that TAT-Bcp1 is not cytotoxic and inhibits H2O2-induced apoptosis in H9c2 cells by reducing the H2O2 content inside these cells.
PubDate: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 14:31:19 +000
- Archaea and Bacteria Acclimate to High Total Ammonia in a Methanogenic
Reactor Treating Swine Waste
Abstract: Inhibition by ammonium at concentrations above 1000 mgN/L is known to harm the methanogenesis phase of anaerobic digestion. We anaerobically digested swine waste and achieved steady state COD-removal efficiency of around 52% with no fatty-acid or H2 accumulation. As the anaerobic microbial community adapted to the gradual increase of total ammonia-N (NH3-N) from to mg/L, the Bacterial and Archaeal communities became less diverse. Phylotypes most closely related to hydrogenotrophic Methanoculleus (36.4%) and Methanobrevibacter (11.6%), along with acetoclastic Methanosaeta (29.3%), became the most abundant Archaeal sequences during acclimation. This was accompanied by a sharp increase in the relative abundances of phylotypes most closely related to acetogens and fatty-acid producers (Clostridium, Coprococcus, and Sphaerochaeta) and syntrophic fatty-acid Bacteria (Syntrophomonas, Clostridium, Clostridiaceae species, and Cloacamonaceae species) that have metabolic capabilities for butyrate and propionate fermentation, as well as for reverse acetogenesis. Our results provide evidence countering a prevailing theory that acetoclastic methanogens are selectively inhibited when the total ammonia-N concentration is greater than ~1000 mgN/L. Instead, acetoclastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens coexisted in the presence of total ammonia-N of ~2000 mgN/L by establishing syntrophic relationships with fatty-acid fermenters, as well as homoacetogens able to carry out forward and reverse acetogenesis.
PubDate: Tue, 20 Sep 2016 09:43:21 +000
- Archaeal DNA Polymerase-B as a DNA Template Guardian: Links between
Polymerases and Base/Alternative Excision Repair Enzymes in Handling the
Deaminated Bases Uracil and Hypoxanthine
Abstract: In Archaea repair of uracil and hypoxanthine, which arise by deamination of cytosine and adenine, respectively, is initiated by three enzymes: Uracil-DNA-glycosylase (UDG, which recognises uracil); Endonuclease V (EndoV, which recognises hypoxanthine); and Endonuclease Q (EndoQ), (which recognises both uracil and hypoxanthine). Two archaeal DNA polymerases, Pol-B and Pol-D, are inhibited by deaminated bases in template strands, a feature unique to this domain. Thus the three repair enzymes and the two polymerases show overlapping specificity for uracil and hypoxanthine. Here it is demonstrated that binding of Pol-D to primer-templates containing deaminated bases inhibits the activity of UDG, EndoV, and EndoQ. Similarly Pol-B almost completely turns off EndoQ, extending earlier work that demonstrated that Pol-B reduces catalysis by UDG and EndoV. Pol-B was observed to be a more potent inhibitor of the enzymes compared to Pol-D. Although Pol-D is directly inhibited by template strand uracil, the presence of Pol-B further suppresses any residual activity of Pol-D, to near-zero levels. The results are compatible with Pol-D acting as the replicative polymerase and Pol-B functioning primarily as a guardian preventing deaminated base-induced DNA mutations.
PubDate: Mon, 19 Sep 2016 06:39:00 +000
- Fundamental Characteristics of AAA+ Protein Family Structure and Function
Abstract: Many complex cellular events depend on multiprotein complexes known as molecular machines to efficiently couple the energy derived from adenosine triphosphate hydrolysis to the generation of mechanical force. Members of the AAA+ ATPase superfamily (ATPases Associated with various cellular Activities) are critical components of many molecular machines. AAA+ proteins are defined by conserved modules that precisely position the active site elements of two adjacent subunits to catalyze ATP hydrolysis. In many cases, AAA+ proteins form a ring structure that translocates a polymeric substrate through the central channel using specialized loops that project into the central channel. We discuss the major features of AAA+ protein structure and function with an emphasis on pivotal aspects elucidated with archaeal proteins.
PubDate: Wed, 14 Sep 2016 09:31:52 +000
- The Proteome and Lipidome of Thermococcus kodakarensis across the
Abstract: The majority of cells in nature probably exist in a stationary-phase-like state, due to nutrient limitation in most environments. Studies on bacteria and yeast reveal morphological and physiological changes throughout the stationary phase, which lead to an increased ability to survive prolonged nutrient limitation. However, there is little information on archaeal stationary phase responses. We investigated protein- and lipid-level changes in Thermococcus kodakarensis with extended time in the stationary phase. Adaptations to time in stationary phase included increased proportion of membrane lipids with a tetraether backbone, synthesis of proteins that ensure translational fidelity, specific regulation of ABC transporters (upregulation of some, downregulation of others), and upregulation of proteins involved in coenzyme production. Given that the biological mechanism of tetraether synthesis is unknown, we also considered whether any of the protein-level changes in T. kodakarensis might shed light on the production of tetraether lipids across the same period. A putative carbon-nitrogen hydrolase, a TldE (a protease in Escherichia coli) homologue, and a membrane bound hydrogenase complex subunit were candidates for possible involvement in tetraether-related reactions, while upregulation of adenosylcobalamin synthesis proteins might lend support to a possible radical mechanism as a trigger for tetraether synthesis.
PubDate: Wed, 04 May 2016 08:58:10 +000
- Characterization of the ATP-Dependent Lon-Like Protease in
Abstract: The Lon protease is highly evolutionarily conserved. However, little is known about Lon in the context of gut microbial communities. A gene encoding a Lon-like protease (Lon-like-Ms) was identified and characterized from Methanobrevibacter smithii, the predominant archaeon in the human gut ecosystem. Phylogenetic and sequence analyses showed that Lon-like-Ms and its homologs are newly identified members of the Lon family. A recombinant form of the enzyme was purified by affinity chromatography, and its catalytic properties were examined. Recombinant Lon-like-Ms exhibited ATPase activity and cleavage activity toward fluorogenic peptides and casein. The peptidase activity of Lon-like-Ms relied strictly on Mg2+ (or other divalent cations) and ATP. These results highlight a new type of Lon-like protease that differs from its bacterial counterpart.
PubDate: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 13:48:52 +000
- Methanogen Diversity in Indigenous and Introduced Ruminant Species on the
Abstract: Host factors are regarded as important in shaping the archaeal community in the rumen but few controlled studies have been performed to demonstrate this across host species under the same environmental conditions. A study was designed to investigate the structure of the methanogen community in the rumen of two indigenous (yak and Tibetan sheep) and two introduced domestic ruminant (cattle and crossbred sheep) species raised and fed under similar conditions on the high altitude Tibetan Plateau. The methylotrophic Methanomassiliicoccaceae was the predominant archaeal group in all animals even though Methanobrevibacter are usually present in greater abundance in ruminants globally. Furthermore, within the Methanomassiliicoccaceae family members from Mmc. group 10 and Mmc. group 4 were dominant in Tibetan Plateau ruminants compared to Mmc. group 12 found to be highest in other ruminants studied. Small ruminants presented the highest number of sequences that belonged to Methanomassiliicoccaceae compared to the larger ruminants. Although the methanogen community structure was different among the ruminant species, there were striking similarities between the animals in this environment. This indicates that factors such as the extreme environmental conditions and diet on the Tibetan Plateau might have a greater impact on rumen methanogen community compared to host differences.
PubDate: Thu, 28 Apr 2016 12:19:24 +000
- Discovery and Characterization of Iron Sulfide and Polyphosphate Bodies
Coexisting in Archaeoglobus fulgidus Cells
Abstract: Inorganic storage granules have long been recognized in bacterial and eukaryotic cells but were only recently identified in archaeal cells. Here, we report the cellular organization and chemical compositions of storage granules in the Euryarchaeon, Archaeoglobus fulgidus strain VC16, a hyperthermophilic, anaerobic, and sulfate-reducing microorganism. Dense granules were apparent in A. fulgidus cells imaged by cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) but not so by negative stain electron microscopy. Cryo electron tomography (cryoET) revealed that each cell contains one to several dense granules located near the cell membrane. Energy dispersive X-ray (EDX) spectroscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM) show that, surprisingly, each cell contains not just one but often two types of granules with different elemental compositions. One type, named iron sulfide body (ISB), is composed mainly of the elements iron and sulfur plus copper; and the other one, called polyphosphate body (PPB), is composed of phosphorus and oxygen plus magnesium, calcium, and aluminum. PPBs are likely used for energy storage and/or metal sequestration/detoxification. ISBs could result from the reduction of sulfate to sulfide via anaerobic energy harvesting pathways and may be associated with energy and/or metal storage or detoxification. The exceptional ability of these archaeal cells to sequester different elements may have novel bioengineering applications.
PubDate: Tue, 19 Apr 2016 13:03:46 +000
- Archaeal Community Changes Associated with Cultivation of Amazon Forest
Soil with Oil Palm
Abstract: This study compared soil archaeal communities of the Amazon forest with that of an adjacent area under oil palm cultivation by 16S ribosomal RNA gene pyrosequencing. Species richness and diversity were greater in native forest soil than in the oil palm-cultivated area, and 130 OTUs (13.7%) were shared between these areas. Among the classified sequences, Thaumarchaeota were predominant in the native forest, whereas Euryarchaeota were predominant in the oil palm-cultivated area. Archaeal species diversity was 1.7 times higher in the native forest soil, according to the Simpson diversity index, and the Chao1 index showed that richness was five times higher in the native forest soil. A phylogenetic tree of unclassified Thaumarchaeota sequences showed that most of the OTUs belong to Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group. Several archaeal genera involved in nutrient cycling (e.g., methanogens and ammonia oxidizers) were identified in both areas, but significant differences were found in the relative abundances of Candidatus Nitrososphaera and unclassified Soil Crenarchaeotic Group (prevalent in the native forest) and Candidatus Nitrosotalea and unclassified Terrestrial Group (prevalent in the oil palm-cultivated area). More studies are needed to culture some of these Archaea in the laboratory so that their metabolism and physiology can be studied.
PubDate: Wed, 24 Feb 2016 10:41:57 +000
- The Vertical Distribution of Sediment Archaeal Community in the “Black
Bloom” Disturbing Zhushan Bay of Lake Taihu
Abstract: Using the Illumina sequencing technology, we investigated the vertical distribution of archaeal community in the sediment of Zhushan Bay of Lake Taihu, where the black bloom frequently occurred in summer. Overall, the Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotal Group (MCG), Deep Sea Hydrothermal Vent Group 6 (DHVEG-6), and Methanobacterium dominated the archaeal community. However, we observed significant difference in composition of archaeal community among different depths of the sediment. DHVEG-6 dominated in the surface layer (0–3 cm) sediment. Methanobacterium was the dominating archaeal taxa in the L2 (3–6 cm) and L3 (6–10) sediment. MCG was most abundant in the L4 (10–15 cm) and L5 (15–20 cm) sediment. Besides, DHVEG-6 was significantly affected by the concentration of total phosphorus (TP). And loss on ignition (LOI) was an important environmental factor for Methanobacterium. As the typical archaeal taxa in the surface layer sediment, DHVEG-6 and Methanobacterium might be more adapted to abundant substrate supply from cyanobacterial blooms and take active part in the biomass transformation. We propose that DHVEG-6 and Methanobacterium could be the key archaeal taxa correlated with the “black bloom” formation in Zhushan Bay.
PubDate: Sun, 17 Jan 2016 13:49:58 +000
- Characterization of Fatty Acids in Crenarchaeota by GC-MS and NMR
Abstract: Lipids composed of condensed isoprenyl units connected to glycerol backbones by ether linkages are a distinguishing feature of Archaea. Data suggesting that fatty acids with linear hydrocarbon chains are present in some Archaea have been available for decades. However, lack of genomic and biochemical evidence for the metabolic machinery required to synthesize and degrade fatty acids has left the field unclear on this potentially significant biochemical aspect. Because lipids are energy currency and cell signaling molecules, their presence in Archaea is significant for understanding archaeal biology. A recent large-scale bioinformatics analysis reignited the debate as to the importance of fatty acids in Archaea by presenting genetic evidence for the presence of enzymes required for anabolic and catabolic fatty acid metabolism across the archaeal domain. Here, we present direct biochemical evidence from gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy for the presence of fatty acids in two members of the Crenarchaeota, Sulfolobus solfataricus and Ignicoccus hospitalis. This is the first report providing biochemical data for the existence of fatty acids in these Crenarchaeota, opening new discussions on energy balance and the potential for the discovery of new thermostable enzymes for industry.
PubDate: Thu, 31 Dec 2015 09:21:43 +000
- Sequence, Structure, and Binding Analysis of Cyclodextrinase (TK1770) from
T. kodakarensis (KOD1) Using an In Silico Approach
Abstract: Thermostable cyclodextrinase (Tk1770 CDase) from hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis (KOD1) hydrolyzes cyclodextrins into linear dextrins. The sequence of Tk1770 CDase retrieved from UniProt was aligned with sequences of sixteen CD hydrolyzing enzymes and a phylogenetic tree was constructed using Bayesian inference. The homology model of Tk1770 CDase was constructed and optimized with Modeller v9.14 program. The model was validated with ProSA server and PROCHECK analysis. Four conserved regions and the catalytic triad consisting of Asp411, Glu437, and Asp502 of GH13 family were identified in catalytic site. Also an additional fifth conserved region downstream to the fourth region was also identified. The structure of Tk1770 CDase consists of an additional N′-domain and a helix-loop-helix motif that is conserved in all archaeal CD hydrolyzing enzymes. The N′-domain contains an extended loop region that forms a part of catalytic domain and plays an important role in stability and substrate binding. The docking of substrate into catalytic site revealed the interactions with different conserved residues involved in substrate binding and formation of enzyme-substrate complex.
PubDate: Thu, 24 Dec 2015 16:02:07 +000
- Molecular Analysis of Methanogen Richness in Landfill and Marshland
Targeting 16S rDNA Sequences
Abstract: Methanogens, a key contributor in global carbon cycling, methane emission, and alternative energy production, generate methane gas via anaerobic digestion of organic matter. The methane emission potential depends upon methanogenic diversity and activity. Since they are anaerobes and difficult to isolate and culture, their diversity present in the landfill sites of Delhi and marshlands of Southern Assam, India, was analyzed using molecular techniques like 16S rDNA sequencing, DGGE, and qPCR. The sequencing results indicated the presence of methanogens belonging to the seventh order and also the order Methanomicrobiales in the Ghazipur and Bhalsawa landfill sites of Delhi. Sequences, related to the phyla Crenarchaeota (thermophilic) and Thaumarchaeota (mesophilic), were detected from marshland sites of Southern Assam, India. Jaccard analysis of DGGE gel using Gel2K showed three main clusters depending on the number and similarity of band patterns. The copy number analysis of hydrogenotrophic methanogens using qPCR indicates higher abundance in landfill sites of Delhi as compared to the marshlands of Southern Assam. The knowledge about “methanogenic archaea composition” and “abundance” in the contrasting ecosystems like “landfill” and “marshland” may reorient our understanding of the Archaea inhabitants. This study could shed light on the relationship between methane-dynamics and the global warming process.
PubDate: Tue, 13 Oct 2015 11:25:38 +000
- Biotechnological Uses of Archaeal Proteins
PubDate: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 13:49:37 +000
- Production and Application of a Soluble Hydrogenase from Pyrococcus
Abstract: Hydrogen gas is a potential renewable alternative energy carrier that could be used in the future to help supplement humanity’s growing energy needs. Unfortunately, current industrial methods for hydrogen production are expensive or environmentally unfriendly. In recent years research has focused on biological mechanisms for hydrogen production and specifically on hydrogenases, the enzyme responsible for catalyzing the reduction of protons to generate hydrogen. In particular, a better understanding of this enzyme might allow us to generate hydrogen that does not use expensive metals, such as platinum, as catalysts. The soluble hydrogenase I (SHI) from the hyperthermophile Pyrococcus furiosus, a member of the euryarchaeota, has been studied extensively and used in various biotechnological applications. This review summarizes the strategies used in engineering and characterizing three different forms of SHI and the properties of the recombinant enzymes. SHI has also been used in in vitro systems for hydrogen production and NADPH generation and these systems are also discussed.
PubDate: Mon, 12 Oct 2015 08:23:33 +000