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See detailA functional metabolic map of Faecalibacterium prausnitzii, a beneficial human gut microbe
Heinken, Almut Katrin UL; Khan, M Tanweer; Paglia, Giuseppe et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2014), 196(18), 3289-3302

The human gut microbiota plays a central role in human well-being and disease. In this study, we present an integrated, iterative approach of computational modeling, in vitro experiments, metabolomics ... [more ▼]

The human gut microbiota plays a central role in human well-being and disease. In this study, we present an integrated, iterative approach of computational modeling, in vitro experiments, metabolomics, and genomic analysis to accelerate the identification of metabolic capabilities for poorly characterized (anaerobic) microorganisms. We demonstrate this approach for the beneficial human gut microbe Faecalibacterium prausnitzii strain A2-165. We generated an automated draft reconstruction, which we curated against the limited biochemical data. This reconstruction modeling was used to develop in silico and in vitro a chemically defined medium (CDM), which was validated experimentally. Subsequent metabolomic analysis of the spent medium for growth on CDM was performed. We refined our metabolic reconstruction according to in vitro observed metabolite consumption and secretion and propose improvements to the current genome annotation of F. prausnitzii A2-165. We then used the reconstruction to systematically characterize its metabolic properties. Novel carbon source utilization capabilities and inabilities were predicted based on metabolic modeling and validated experimentally. This study resulted in a functional metabolic map of F. prausnitzii, which is available for further applications. The presented workflow can be readily extended to other poorly characterized and uncharacterized organisms to yield novel biochemical insights about the target organism. [less ▲]

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See detailRedox-responsive repressor Rex modulates alcohol production and oxidative stress tolerance in Clostridium acetobutylicum
Zhang, Lei; Nie, Xiaoqun; Ravcheev, Dmitry UL et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2014), 196(22), 3949-3963

Rex, a transcriptional repressor that modulates its DNA binding activity in response to NADH/NAD+ ratio, has recently been found to play a role in the solventogenic shift of Clostridium acetobutylicum ... [more ▼]

Rex, a transcriptional repressor that modulates its DNA binding activity in response to NADH/NAD+ ratio, has recently been found to play a role in the solventogenic shift of Clostridium acetobutylicum. Here we combined a comparative genomic reconstruction of Rex regulons in 11 diverse clostridial species with detailed experimental characterization of Rex-mediated regulation in C. acetobutylicum. The reconstructed Rex regulons in clostridia included the genes involved in fermentation, hydrogen production, tricarboxylic acid cycle, NAD biosynthesis, nitrate and sulphite reduction, and CO2/CO fixation. The predicted Rex binding sites in the genomes of Clostridium spp. were verified by in vitro binding assays with purified Rex protein. Novel members of C. acetobutylicum Rex regulon were identified and experimentally validated by comparing the transcript levels between the wild-type and rex inactivated mutant strains. Furthermore, the effects of exposure to methyl viologen or H2O2 on intracellular NADH and NAD+ concentrations, expression of Rex regulon genes, and physiology of the wild-type and rex-inactivated mutant were comparatively analyzed. Our results indicate that Rex responds to NADH/NAD+ ratio in vivo to regulate gene expression and modulates fermentation product formation and oxidative stress tolerance in C. acetobutylicum. It is suggested that Rex plays an important role in maintaining NADH/NAD+ homeostasis in clostridia. [less ▲]

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See detailRegulation and evolution of malonate and propionate catabolism in proteobacteria
Suvorova, I.A.; Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Gelfand, M.S.

in Journal of Bacteriology (2012), 194(12), 3234-3240

Bacteria catabolize malonate via two pathways, encoded by the mdc and mat genes. In various bacteria, transcription of these genes is controlled by the GntR family transcription factors (TFs) MatR/MdcY ... [more ▼]

Bacteria catabolize malonate via two pathways, encoded by the mdc and mat genes. In various bacteria, transcription of these genes is controlled by the GntR family transcription factors (TFs) MatR/MdcY and/or the LysR family transcription factor MdcR. Propionate is metabolized via the methylcitrate pathway, comprising enzymes encoded by the prp and acn genes. PrpR, the Fis family sigma 54-dependent transcription factor, is known to be a transcriptional activator of the prp genes. Here, we report a detailed comparative genomic analysis of malonate and propionate metabolism and its regulation in proteobacteria. We characterize genomic loci and gene regulation and identify binding motifs for four new TFs and also new regulon members, in particular, tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) transporters. We describe restructuring of the genomic loci and regulatory interactions during the evolution of proteobacteria. [less ▲]

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See detailGenome Sequence of "Candidatus Microthrix parvicella" Bio17-1, a Long-Chain-Fatty-Acid-Accumulating Filamentous Actinobacterium from a Biological Wastewater Treatment Plant
Muller, Emilie UL; Pinel, Nicolás; Gillece, John D. et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2012), 194(23), 6670-6671

Candidatus Microthrix bacteria are deeply branching filamentous actinobacteria which occur at the water-air interface of biological wastewater treatment plants, where they are often responsible for ... [more ▼]

Candidatus Microthrix bacteria are deeply branching filamentous actinobacteria which occur at the water-air interface of biological wastewater treatment plants, where they are often responsible for foaming and bulking. Here, we report the first draft genome sequence of a strain from this genus: "Candidatus Microthrix parvicella" strain Bio17-1. [less ▲]

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See detailTranscriptional regulation of central carbon and energy metabolism in bacteria by redox responsive repressor Rex
Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Li, Xiaoqing; Latif, Haythem et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2012), 194(5), 1145-1157

Redox-sensing repressor Rex was previously implicated in the control of anaerobic respiration in response to the cellular NADH/NAD(+) levels in gram-positive bacteria. We utilized the comparative genomics ... [more ▼]

Redox-sensing repressor Rex was previously implicated in the control of anaerobic respiration in response to the cellular NADH/NAD(+) levels in gram-positive bacteria. We utilized the comparative genomics approach to infer candidate Rex-binding DNA motifs and assess the Rex regulon content in 119 genomes from 11 taxonomic groups. Both DNA-binding and NAD-sensing domains are broadly conserved in Rex orthologs identified in the phyla Firmicutes, Thermotogales, Actinobacteria, Chloroflexi, Deinococcus-Thermus, and Proteobacteria. The identified DNA-binding motifs showed significant conservation in these species, with the only exception detected in Clostridia, where the Rex motif deviates in two positions from the generalized consensus, TTGTGAANNNNTTCACAA. Comparative analysis of candidate Rex sites revealed remarkable variations in functional repertoires of candidate Rex-regulated genes in various microorganisms. Most of the reconstructed regulatory interactions are lineage specific, suggesting frequent events of gain and loss of regulator binding sites in the evolution of Rex regulons. We identified more than 50 novel Rex-regulated operons encoding functions that are essential for resumption of the NADH:NAD(+) balance. The novel functional role of Rex in the control of the central carbon metabolism and hydrogen production genes was validated by in vitro DNA binding assays using the TM0169 protein in the hydrogen-producing bacterium Thermotoga maritima. [less ▲]

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See detailComparative genomic analysis of the hexuronate metabolism genes and their regulation in gamma-proteobacteria
Suvorova, Inna A.; Tutukina, Maria N.; Ravcheev, Dmitry UL et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2011), 193(15), 3956-3963

The hexuronate metabolism in Escherichia coli is regulated by two related transcription factors from the FadR subfamily of the GntR family, UxuR and ExuR. UxuR controls the d-glucuronate metabolism, while ... [more ▼]

The hexuronate metabolism in Escherichia coli is regulated by two related transcription factors from the FadR subfamily of the GntR family, UxuR and ExuR. UxuR controls the d-glucuronate metabolism, while ExuR represses genes involved in the metabolism of all hexuronates. We use a comparative genomics approach to reconstruct the hexuronate metabolic pathways and transcriptional regulons in gammaproteobacteria. We demonstrate differences in the binding motifs of UxuR and ExuR, identify new candidate members of the UxuR/ExuR regulons, and describe the links between the UxuR/ExuR regulons and the adjacent regulons UidR, KdgR, and YjjM. We provide experimental evidence that two predicted members of the UxuR regulon, yjjM and yjjN, are the subject of complex regulation by this transcription factor in E. coli. [less ▲]

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See detailInference of the Transcriptional Regulatory Network in Staphylococcus aureus by Integration of Experimental and Genomics-Based Evidence
Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Best, Aaron A.; Tintle, Nathan et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2011), 193(12), 3228-3240

Transcriptional regulatory networks are fine-tuned systems that help microorganisms respond to changes in the environment and cell physiological state. We applied the comparative genomics approach ... [more ▼]

Transcriptional regulatory networks are fine-tuned systems that help microorganisms respond to changes in the environment and cell physiological state. We applied the comparative genomics approach implemented in the RegPredict Web server combined with SEED subsystem analysis and available information on known regulatory interactions for regulatory network reconstruction for the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and six related species from the family Staphylococcaceae. The resulting reference set of 46 transcription factor regulons contains more than 1,900 binding sites and 2,800 target genes involved in the central metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and fatty acids; respiration; the stress response; metal homeostasis; drug and metal resistance; and virulence. The inferred regulatory network in S. aureus includes ∼320 regulatory interactions between 46 transcription factors and ∼550 candidate target genes comprising 20% of its genome. We predicted ∼170 novel interactions and 24 novel regulons for the control of the central metabolic pathways in S. aureus. The reconstructed regulons are largely variable in the Staphylococcaceae: only 20% of S. aureus regulatory interactions are conserved across all studied genomes. We used a large-scale gene expression data set for S. aureus to assess relationships between the inferred regulons and gene expression patterns. The predicted reference set of regulons is captured within the Staphylococcus collection in the RegPrecise database (http://regprecise.lbl.gov). [less ▲]

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See detailComparative genomics of ethanolamine utilization
Tsoy, Olga; Ravcheev, Dmitry UL; Mushegian, Arcady

in Journal of Bacteriology (2009), 191(23), 7157-7164

Ethanolamine can be used as a source of carbon and nitrogen by phylogenetically diverse bacteria. Ethanolamine-ammonia lyase, the enzyme that breaks ethanolamine into acetaldehyde and ammonia, is encoded ... [more ▼]

Ethanolamine can be used as a source of carbon and nitrogen by phylogenetically diverse bacteria. Ethanolamine-ammonia lyase, the enzyme that breaks ethanolamine into acetaldehyde and ammonia, is encoded by the gene tandem eutBC. Despite extensive studies of ethanolamine utilization in Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium, much remains to be learned about EutBC structure and catalytic mechanism, about the evolutionary origin of ethanolamine utilization, and about regulatory links between the metabolism of ethanolamine itself and the ethanolamine-ammonia lyase cofactor adenosylcobalamin. We used computational analysis of sequences, structures, genome contexts, and phylogenies of ethanolamine-ammonia lyases to address these questions and to evaluate recent data-mining studies that have suggested an association between bacterial food poisoning and the diol utilization pathways. We found that EutBC evolution included recruitment of a TIM barrel and a Rossmann fold domain and their fusion to N-terminal alpha-helical domains to give EutB and EutC, respectively. This fusion was followed by recruitment and occasional loss of auxiliary ethanolamine utilization genes in Firmicutes and by several horizontal transfers, most notably from the firmicute stem to the Enterobacteriaceae and from Alphaproteobacteria to Actinobacteria. We identified a conserved DNA motif that likely represents the EutR-binding site and is shared by the ethanolamine and cobalamin operons in several enterobacterial species, suggesting a mechanism for coupling the biosyntheses of apoenzyme and cofactor in these species. Finally, we found that the food poisoning phenotype is associated with the structural components of metabolosome more strongly than with ethanolamine utilization genes or with paralogous propanediol utilization genes per se. [less ▲]

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See detailFine-tuning of galactoglucan biosynthesis in Sinorhizobium meliloti by differential WggR (ExpG)-, PhoB-, and MucR-dependent regulation of two promoters.
Bahlawane, Christelle UL; Baumgarth, Birgit; Serrania, Javier et al

in Journal of bacteriology (2008), 190(10), 3456-66

Depending on the phosphate concentration encountered in the environment Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011 synthesizes two different exopolysaccharides (EPS). Galactoglucan (EPS II) is produced under phosphate ... [more ▼]

Depending on the phosphate concentration encountered in the environment Sinorhizobium meliloti 2011 synthesizes two different exopolysaccharides (EPS). Galactoglucan (EPS II) is produced under phosphate starvation but also in the presence of extra copies of the transcriptional regulator WggR (ExpG) or as a consequence of a mutation in mucR. The galactoglucan biosynthesis gene cluster contains the operons wga (expA), wge (expE), wgd (expD), and wggR (expG). Two promoters, differentially controlled by WggR, PhoB, and MucR, were identified upstream of each of these operons. The proximal promoters of the wga, wge, and wgd transcription units were constitutively active when separated from the upstream regulatory sequences. Promoter activity studies and the positions of predicted PhoB and WggR binding sites suggested that the proximal promoters are cooperatively induced by PhoB and WggR. MucR was shown to strongly inhibit the distal promoters and bound to the DNA in the vicinity of the distal transcription start sites. An additional inhibitory effect on the distal promoter of the structural galactoglucan biosynthesis genes was identified as a new feature of WggR in a mucR mutant. A regulatory model of the fine-tuning of galactoglucan production is proposed. [less ▲]

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See detailCorrelation between growth rates, EIIACrr phosphorylation, and intracellular cyclic AMP levels in Escherichia coli K-12.
Bettenbrock, Katja; Sauter, Thomas UL; Jahreis, Knut et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2007), 189(19), 6891-900

In Escherichia coli K-12, components of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase systems (PTSs) represent a signal transduction system involved in the global control of carbon catabolism ... [more ▼]

In Escherichia coli K-12, components of the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent phosphotransferase systems (PTSs) represent a signal transduction system involved in the global control of carbon catabolism through inducer exclusion mediated by phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent protein kinase enzyme IIA(Crr) (EIIA(Crr)) (= EIIA(Glc)) and catabolite repression mediated by the global regulator cyclic AMP (cAMP)-cAMP receptor protein (CRP). We measured in a systematic way the relation between cellular growth rates and the key parameters of catabolite repression, i.e., the phosphorylated EIIA(Crr) (EIIA(Crr) approximately P) level and the cAMP level, using in vitro and in vivo assays. Different growth rates were obtained by using either various carbon sources or by growing the cells with limited concentrations of glucose, sucrose, and mannitol in continuous bioreactor experiments. The ratio of EIIA(Crr) to EIIA(Crr) approximately P and the intracellular cAMP concentrations, deduced from the activity of a cAMP-CRP-dependent promoter, correlated well with specific growth rates between 0.3 h(-1) and 0.7 h(-1), corresponding to generation times of about 138 and 60 min, respectively. Below and above this range, these parameters were increasingly uncoupled from the growth rate, which perhaps indicates an increasing role executed by other global control systems, in particular the stringent-relaxed response system. [less ▲]

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See detailExpanded metabolic reconstruction of Helicobacter pylori (iIT341 GSM/GPR): an in silico genome-scale characterization of single- and double-deletion mutants.
Thiele, Ines UL; Vo, Thuy D.; Price, Nathan D. et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (2005), 187(16), 5818-30

Helicobacter pylori is a human gastric pathogen infecting almost half of the world population. Herein, we present an updated version of the metabolic reconstruction of H. pylori strain 26695 based on the ... [more ▼]

Helicobacter pylori is a human gastric pathogen infecting almost half of the world population. Herein, we present an updated version of the metabolic reconstruction of H. pylori strain 26695 based on the revised genome annotation and new experimental data. This reconstruction, iIT341 GSM/GPR, represents a detailed review of the current literature about H. pylori as it integrates biochemical and genomic data in a comprehensive framework. In total, it accounts for 341 metabolic genes, 476 intracellular reactions, 78 exchange reactions, and 485 metabolites. Novel features of iIT341 GSM/GPR include (i) gene-protein-reaction associations, (ii) elementally and charge-balanced reactions, (iii) more accurate descriptions of isoprenoid and lipopolysaccharide metabolism, and (iv) quantitative assessments of the supporting data for each reaction. This metabolic reconstruction was used to carry out in silico deletion studies to identify essential and conditionally essential genes in H. pylori. A total of 128 essential and 75 conditionally essential metabolic genes were identified. Predicted growth phenotypes of single knockouts were validated using published experimental data. In addition, in silico double-deletion studies identified a total of 47 synthetic lethal mutants involving 67 different metabolic genes in rich medium. [less ▲]

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See detailOverexpression of a Streptomyces viridochromogenes gene (glnII) encoding a glutamine synthetase similar to those of eucaryotes confers resistance against the antibiotic phosphinothricyl-alanyl-alanine
Behrmann, Iris UL; Hillemann, D.; Pühler, A. et al

in Journal of Bacteriology (1990), 172(9), 5326-34

Phosphinothricyl-alanyl-alanine (PTT), also known as bialaphos, contains phosphinothricin, a potent inhibitor of glutamine synthetase (GS). A 2.75-kilobase NcoI fragment of the Streptomyces ... [more ▼]

Phosphinothricyl-alanyl-alanine (PTT), also known as bialaphos, contains phosphinothricin, a potent inhibitor of glutamine synthetase (GS). A 2.75-kilobase NcoI fragment of the Streptomyces viridochromogenes PTT-resistant mutant ES2 cloned on a multicopy vector mediated PTT resistance to S. lividans and to S. viridochromogenes. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the 2.75-kb NcoI fragment revealed the presence of three open reading frames. Open reading frame 3 was termed glnII since significant similarity was found between its deduced amino acid sequence and those from GS of eucaryotes and GSII of members of the family Rhizobiaceae. Subcloning experiments showed that PTT resistance is mediated by overexpression of glnII encoding a 37.3-kilodalton protein of 343 amino acids. A three- to fourfold increase in gamma-glutamyltransferase activity could be observed in S. lividans transformants carrying the glnII gene on a multicopy plasmid. For S. viridochromogenes it was shown that PTT resistance conferred by the 2.75-kb NcoI fragment was dependent on its multicopy state. GS activity encoded by glnII was found to be heat labile. Southern hybridization with seven different Streptomyces strains suggested that they all carry two types of GS genes, glnA and glnII. [less ▲]

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