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Identification of Components of Electron Transport Chains in the Extremely Thermoacidophilic Crenarchaeon Metallosphaera sedula through Iron and Sulfur Compound Oxidation Transcriptomes▿ †

By Kathryne S. Auernik and Robert M. Kelly


The crenarchaeal order Sulfolobales collectively contain at least five major terminal oxidase complexes. Based on genome sequence information, all five complexes are found only in Metallosphaera sedula and Sulfolobus tokodaii, the two sequenced Sulfolobales capable of iron oxidization. While specific respiratory complexes in certain Sulfolobales have been characterized previously as proton pumps for maintaining intracellular pH and generating proton motive force, their contribution to sulfur and iron biooxidation has not been considered. For M. sedula growing in the presence of ferrous iron and reduced inorganic sulfur compounds (RISCs), global transcriptional analysis was used to track the response of specific genes associated with these complexes, as well as other known and putative respiratory electron transport chain elements. Open reading frames from all five terminal oxidase or bc1-like complexes were stimulated on one or more conditions tested. Components of the fox (Msed0467 to Msed0489) and soxNL-cbsABA (Msed0500 to Msed0505) terminal/quinol oxidase clusters were triggered by ferrous iron, while the soxABCDD′ terminal oxidase cluster (Msed0285 to Msed0291) were induced by tetrathionate and S0. Chemolithotrophic electron transport elements, including a putative tetrathionate hydrolase (Msed0804), a novel polysulfide/sulfur/dimethyl sulfoxide reductase-like complex (Msed0812 to Msed0818), and a novel heterodisulfide reductase-like complex (Msed1542 to Msed1550), were also stimulated by RISCs. Furthermore, several hypothetical proteins were found to have strong responses to ferrous iron or RISCs, suggesting additional candidates in iron or sulfur oxidation-related pathways. From this analysis, a comprehensive model for electron transport in M. sedula could be proposed as the basis for examining specific details of iron and sulfur oxidation in this bioleaching archaeon

Topics: Physiology and Biotechnology
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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