147 research outputs found

    Small multicopy, non-integrative shuttle vectors based on the plasmid pRN1 for Sulfolobus acidocaldarius and Sulfolobus solfataricus, model organisms of the (cren-)archaea

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    The extreme thermoacidophiles of the genus Sulfolobus are among the best-studied archaea but have lacked small, reliable plasmid vectors, which have proven extremely useful for manipulating and analyzing genes in other microorganisms. Here we report the successful construction of a series of Sulfolobus–Escherichia coli shuttle vectors based on the small multicopy plasmid pRN1 from Sulfolobus islandicus. Selection in suitable uracil auxotrophs is provided through inclusion of pyrEF genes in the plasmid. The shuttle vectors do not integrate into the genome and do not rearrange. The plasmids allow functional overexpression of genes, as could be demonstrated for the β-glycosidase (lacS) gene of S. solfataricus. In addition, we demonstrate that this β-glycosidase gene could function as selectable marker in S. solfataricus. The shuttle plasmids differ in their interruption sites within pRN1 and allowed us to delineate functionally important regions of pRN1. The orf56/orf904 operon appears to be essential for pRN1 replication, in contrast interruption of the highly conserved orf80/plrA gene is tolerated. The new vector system promises to facilitate genetic studies of Sulfolobus and to have biotechnological uses, such as the overexpression or optimization of thermophilic enzymes that are not readily performed in mesophilic hosts

    Inducible and constitutive promoters for genetic systems in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius

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    Central to genetic work in any organism are the availability of a range of inducible and constitutive promoters. In this work we studied several promoters for use in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. The promoters were tested with the aid of an E. coli-Sulfolobus shuttle vector in reporter gene experiments. As the most suitable inducible promoter a maltose inducible promoter was identified. It comprises 266bp of the sequence upstream of the gene coding for the maltose/maltotriose binding protein (mbp, Saci_1165). Induction is feasible with either maltose or dextrin at concentrations of 0.2-0.4%. The highest increase in expression (up to 17-fold) was observed in late exponential and stationary phase around 30-50h after addition of dextrin. Whereas in the presence of glucose and xylose higher basal activity and reduced inducibility with maltose is observed, sucrose can be used in the growth medium additionally without affecting the basal activity or the inducibility. The minimal promoter region necessary could be narrowed down to 169bp of the upstream sequence. The ABCE1 protein from S. solfataricus was successfully expressed under control of the inducible promoter with the shuttle vector pC and purified from the S. acidocaldarius culture with a yield of about 1mgL−1 culture. In addition we also determined the promoter strength of several constitutive promoter

    Thermodynamics of the ATPase Cycle of GlcV, the Nucleotide-Binding Domain of the Glucose ABC Transporter of Sulfolobus solfataricus

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    ATP-binding cassette transporters drive the transport of substrates across the membrane by the hydrolysis of ATP. They typically have a conserved domain structure with two membrane-spanning domains that form the transport channel and two cytosolic nucleotide-binding domains (NBDs) that energize the transport reaction. Binding of ATP to the NBD monomer results in formation of a NBD dimer. Hydrolysis of the ATP drives the dissociation of the dimer. The thermodynamics of distinct steps in the ATPase cycle of GlcV, the NBD of the glucose ABC transporter of the extreme thermoacidophile Sulfolobus solfataricus, were studied by isothermal titration calorimetry using the wild-type protein and two mutants, which are arrested at different steps in the ATP hydrolytic cycle. The G144A mutant is unable to dimerize, while the E166A mutant is defective in dimer dissociation. The ATP, ADP, and AMP-PNP binding affinities, stoichiometries, and enthalpies of binding were determined at different temperatures. From these data, the thermodynamic parameters of nucleotide binding, NBD dimerization, and ATP hydrolysis were calculated. The data demonstrate that the ATP hydrolysis cycle of isolated NBDs consists of consecutive steps where only the final step of ADP release is energetically unfavorable.

    Two membrane-bound transcription factors regulate expression of various type-IV-pili surface structures in Sulfolobus acidocaldarius

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    In Archaea and Bacteria, gene expression is tightly regulated in response to environmental stimuli. In the thermoacidophilic crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius nutrient limitation induces expression of the archaellum, the archaeal motility structure. This expression is orchestrated by a complex hierarchical network of positive and negative regulators—the archaellum regulatory network (arn). The membrane-bound one-component system ArnR and its paralog ArnR1 were recently described as main activators of archaellum expression in S. acidocaldarius. They regulate gene expression of the archaellum operon by targeting the promoter of flaB, encoding the archaellum filament protein. Here we describe a strategy for the isolation and biochemical characterization of these two archaellum regulators. Both regulators are capable of forming oligomers and are phosphorylated by the Ser/Thr kinase ArnC. Apart from binding to pflaB, ArnR but not ArnR1 bound to promoter sequences of aapF and upsX, which encode components of the archaeal adhesive pilus and UV-inducible pili system, demonstrating a regulatory connection between different surface appendages of S. acidocaldarius

    Characterization of the ATPase FlaI of the motor complex of the Pyrococcus furiosus archaellum and its interactions between the ATP-binding protein FlaH

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    The archaellum, the rotating motility structure of archaea, is best studied in the crenarchaeon Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. To better understand how assembly and rotation of this structure is driven, two ATP-binding proteins, FlaI and FlaH of the motor complex of the archaellum of the euryarchaeon Pyrococcus furiosus, were overexpressed, purified and studied. Contrary to the FlaI ATPase of S. acidocaldarius, which only forms a hexamer after binding of nucleotides, FlaI of P. furiosus formed a hexamer in a nucleotide independent manner. In this hexamer only 2 of the ATP binding sites were available for binding of the fluorescent ATP-analog MANT-ATP, suggesting a twofold symmetry in the hexamer. P. furiosus FlaI showed a 250-fold higher ATPase activity than S. acidocaldarius FlaI. Interaction studies between the isolated N- and C-terminal domains of FlaI showed interactions between the N- and C-terminal domains and strong interactions between the N-terminal domains not previously observed for ATPases involved in archaellum assembly. These interactions played a role in oligomerization and activity, suggesting a conformational state of the hexamer not observed before. Further interaction studies show that the C-terminal domain of PfFlaI interacts with the nucleotide binding protein FlaH. This interaction stimulates the ATPase activity of FlaI optimally at a 1:1 stoichiometry, suggesting that hexameric PfFlaI interacts with hexameric PfFlaH. These data help to further understand the complex interactions that are required to energize the archaellar motor
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