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Carboxysomal carbonic anhydrases: Structure and role in microbial CO2 fixation

Description: Cyanobacteria and some chemoautotrophic bacteria are able to grow in environments with limiting CO2 concentrations by employing a CO2-concentrating mechanism (CCM) that allows them to accumulate inorganic carbon in their cytoplasm to concentrations several orders of magnitude higher than that on the outside. The final step of this process takes place in polyhedral protein microcompartments known as carboxysomes, which contain the majority of the CO2-fixing enzyme, RubisCO. The efficiency of CO2 fixation by the sequestered RubisCO is enhanced by co-localization with a specialized carbonic anhydrase that catalyzes dehydration of the cytoplasmic bicarbonate and ensures saturation of RubisCO with its substrate, CO2. There are two genetically distinct carboxysome types that differ in their protein composition and in the carbonic anhydrase(s) they employ. Here we review the existing information concerning the genomics, structure and enzymology of these uniquely adapted carbonic anhydrases, which are of fundamental importance in the global carbon cycle.
Date: June 23, 2010
Creator: Cannon, Gordon C.; Heinhorst, Sabine & Kerfeld, Cheryl A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bacterial Microcompartments

Description: Bacterialmicrocompartments (BMCs) are organelles composed entirely of protein. They promote specific metabolic processes by encapsulatingand colocalizing enzymes with their substrates and cofactors, by protecting vulnerable enzymes in a defined microenvironment, and bysequestering toxic or volatile intermediates. Prototypes of the BMCsare the carboxysomes of autotrophic bacteria. However, structures of similarpolyhedral shape are being discovered in an ever-increasing number of heterotrophic bacteria, where they participate in the utilization ofspecialty carbon and energy sources.Comparative genomics reveals that the potential for this type of compartmentalization is widespread acrossbacterial phyla and suggests that genetic modules encoding BMCs are frequently laterally transferred among bacteria. The diverse functionsof these BMCs suggest that they contribute to metabolic innovation in bacteria in a broad range of environments.
Date: June 5, 2010
Creator: Kerfeld, Cheryl A.; Heinhorst, Sabine & Cannon, Gordon C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Carboxysome and Other Bacterial Microcompartments

Description: - Carboxysomes are part of the carbon concentrating mechanism in cyanobacteria and chemoautotrophs. - Carboxysomes are a subclass of bacterial microcompartments (BMCs); BMCs can encapsulate a range of metabolic processes. - Like some viral particles, the carboxysome can be modeled as an icosahedron-in its case, having 4,000-5,000 hexameric shell subunits and 12 surface pentamers to generate curvature. - The threefold axis of symmetry of the CsoS1D protein in carboxysomes forms a pore that can open and close, allowing for selective diffusion. - Genetic modules encoding BMC shell proteins and the enzymes that they encapsulate are horizontally transferable, suggesting they enable bacteria to adapt to diverse environments.
Date: June 23, 2010
Creator: Kerfeld, Cheryl A.; Greenleaf, William B. & Kinney, James N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Engineering the Cyanobacterial Carbon Concentrating Mechanism for Enhanced CO2 Capture and Fixation

Description: In cyanobacteria CO2 fixation is localized in a special proteinaceous organelle, the carboxysome. The CO2 fixation enzymes are encapsulated by a selectively permeable protein shell. By structurally and functionally characterizing subunits of the carboxysome shell and the encapsulated proteins, we hope to understand what regulates the shape, assembly and permeability of the shell, as well as the targeting mechanism and organization of the encapsulated proteins. This knowledge will be used to enhance CO2 fixation in both cyanobacteria and plants through synthetic biology. The same strategy can also serve as a template for the production of modular synthetic bacterial organelles. Our research is conducted using a variety of techniques such as genomic sequencing and analysis, transcriptional regulation, DNA synthesis, synthetic biology, protein crystallization, Small Angle X-ray Scattering (SAXS), protein-protein interaction assays and phenotypic characterization using various types of cellular imaging, e.g. fluorescence microscopy, Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), and Soft X-ray Tomography (SXT).
Date: June 2, 2011
Creator: Sandh, Gustaf; Cai, Fei; Shih, Patrick; Kinney, James; Axen, Seth; Salmeen, Annette et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Metagenomic gene annotation by a homology-independent approach

Description: Fully understanding the genetic potential of a microbial community requires functional annotation of all the genes it encodes. The recently developed deep metagenome sequencing approach has enabled rapid identification of millions of genes from a complex microbial community without cultivation. Current homology-based gene annotation fails to detect distantly-related or structural homologs. Furthermore, homology searches with millions of genes are very computational intensive. To overcome these limitations, we developed rhModeller, a homology-independent software pipeline to efficiently annotate genes from metagenomic sequencing projects. Using cellulases and carbonic anhydrases as two independent test cases, we demonstrated that rhModeller is much faster than HMMER but with comparable accuracy, at 94.5percent and 99.9percent accuracy, respectively. More importantly, rhModeller has the ability to detect novel proteins that do not share significant homology to any known protein families. As {approx}50percent of the 2 million genes derived from the cow rumen metagenome failed to be annotated based on sequence homology, we tested whether rhModeller could be used to annotate these genes. Preliminary results suggest that rhModeller is robust in the presence of missense and frameshift mutations, two common errors in metagenomic genes. Applying the pipeline to the cow rumen genes identified 4,990 novel cellulases candidates and 8,196 novel carbonic anhydrase candidates.In summary, we expect rhModeller to dramatically increase the speed and quality of metagnomic gene annotation.
Date: June 2, 2011
Creator: Froula, Jeff; Zhang, Tao; Salmeen, Annette; Hess, Matthias; Kerfeld, Cheryl A.; Wang, Zhong et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Structural Determinats Underlying Photoprotection in the Photoactive Orange Carotenoid Protein of Cyanobacteria

Description: The photoprotective processes of photosynthetic organisms involve the dissipation of excess absorbed light energy as heat. Photoprotection in cyanobacteria is mechanistically distinct from that in plants; it involves the Orange Carotenoid Protein (OCP), a water-soluble protein containing a single carotenoid. The OCP is a new member of the family of blue light photoactive proteins; blue-green light triggers the OCP-mediated photoprotective response. Here we report structural and functional characterization of the wildtype and two mutant forms of the OCP, from the model organism Synechocystis PCC6803. The structural analysis provides highresolution detail of the carotenoidprotein interactions that underlie the optical properties of the OCP, unique among carotenoid-proteins in binding a single pigment per polypeptide chain. Collectively, these data implicate several key amino acids in the function of the OCP and reveal that the photoconversion and photoprotective responses of the OCP to blue-green light can be decoupled.
Date: April 1, 2010
Creator: Wilson, Adjele; Kinney, James N.; Zwart, Petrus H.; Punginelli, Claire; D'Haene, Sandrine; Perreau, Francois et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Identification of a haloalkaliphilic and thermostable cellulase with improved ionic liquid tolerance

Description: Some ionic liquids (ILs) have been shown to be very effective solvents for biomass pretreatment. It is known that some ILs can have a strong inhibitory effect on fungal cellulases, making the digestion of cellulose inefficient in the presence of ILs. The identification of IL-tolerant enzymes that could be produced as a cellulase cocktail would reduce the costs and water use requirements of the IL pretreatment process. Due to their adaptation to high salinity environments, halophilic enzymes are hypothesized to be good candidates for screening and identifying IL-resistant cellulases. Using a genome-based approach, we have identified and characterized a halophilic cellulase (Hu-CBH1) from the halophilic archaeon, Halorhabdus utahensis. Hu-CBH1 is present in a gene cluster containing multiple putative cellulolytic enzymes. Sequence and theoretical structure analysis indicate that Hu-CBH1 is highly enriched with negatively charged acidic amino acids on the surface, which may form a solvation shell that may stabilize the enzyme, through interaction with salt ions and/or water molecules. Hu-CBH1 is a heat tolerant haloalkaliphilic cellulase and is active in salt concentrations up to 5 M NaCl. In high salt buffer, Hu-CBH1 can tolerate alkali (pH 11.5) conditions and, more importantly, is tolerant to high levels (20percent w/w) of ILs, including 1-allyl-3-methylimidazolium chloride ([Amim]Cl). Interestingly, the tolerances to heat, alkali and ILs are found to be salt-dependent, suggesting that the enzyme is stabilized by the presence of salt. Our results indicate that halophilic enzymes are good candidates for the screening of IL-tolerant cellulolytic enzymes.
Date: February 17, 2011
Creator: Zhang, Tao; Datta, Supratim; Eichler, Jerry; Ivanova, Natalia; Axen, Seth D.; Kerfeld, Cheryl A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Incorporating Genomics and Bioinformatics across the Life Sciences Curriculum

Description: Undergraduate life sciences education needs an overhaul, as clearly described in the National Research Council of the National Academies publication BIO 2010: Transforming Undergraduate Education for Future Research Biologists. Among BIO 2010's top recommendations is the need to involve students in working with real data and tools that reflect the nature of life sciences research in the 21st century. Education research studies support the importance of utilizing primary literature, designing and implementing experiments, and analyzing results in the context of a bona fide scientific question in cultivating the analytical skills necessary to become a scientist. Incorporating these basic scientific methodologies in undergraduate education leads to increased undergraduate and post-graduate retention in the sciences. Toward this end, many undergraduate teaching organizations offer training and suggestions for faculty to update and improve their teaching approaches to help students learn as scientists, through design and discovery (e.g., Council of Undergraduate Research [www.cur.org] and Project Kaleidoscope [www.pkal.org]). With the advent of genome sequencing and bioinformatics, many scientists now formulate biological questions and interpret research results in the context of genomic information. Just as the use of bioinformatic tools and databases changed the way scientists investigate problems, it must change how scientists teach to create new opportunities for students to gain experiences reflecting the influence of genomics, proteomics, and bioinformatics on modern life sciences research. Educators have responded by incorporating bioinformatics into diverse life science curricula. While these published exercises in, and guidelines for, bioinformatics curricula are helpful and inspirational, faculty new to the area of bioinformatics inevitably need training in the theoretical underpinnings of the algorithms. Moreover, effectively integrating bioinformatics into courses or independent research projects requires infrastructure for organizing and assessing student work. Here, we present a new platform for faculty to keep current with the rapidly changing field of bioinformatics, the Integrated ...
Date: August 1, 2011
Creator: Ditty, Jayna L.; Kvaal, Christopher A.; Goodner, Brad; Freyermuth, Sharyn K.; Bailey, Cheryl; Britton, Robert A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Genome of Deep-Sea Vent Chemolithoautotroph Thiomicrospiracrunogena XCL-2

Description: Presented here is the complete genome sequence ofThiomicrospira crunogena XCL-2, representative of ubiquitouschemolithoautotrophic sulfur-oxidizing bacteria isolated from deep-seahydrothermal vents. This gammaproteobacterium has a single chromosome(2,427,734 bp), and its genome illustrates many of the adaptations thathave enabled it to thrive at vents globally. It has 14 methyl-acceptingchemotaxis protein genes, including four that may assist in positioningit in the redoxcline. A relative abundance of CDSs encoding regulatoryproteins likely control the expression of genes encoding carboxysomes,multiple dissolved inorganic nitrogen and phosphate transporters, as wellas a phosphonate operon, which provide this species with a variety ofoptions for acquiring these substrates from the environment. T. crunogenaXCL-2 is unusual among obligate sulfur oxidizing bacteria in relying onthe Sox system for the oxidation of reduced sulfur compounds. A 38 kbprophage is present, and a high level of prophage induction was observed,which may play a role in keeping competing populations of close relativesin check. The genome has characteristics consistent with an obligatelychemolithoautotrophic lifestyle, including few transporters predicted tohave organic allocrits, and Calvin-Benson-Bassham cycle CDSs scatteredthroughout the genome.
Date: August 23, 2006
Creator: Scott, Kathleen M.; Sievert, Stefan M.; Abril, Fereniki N.; Ball,Lois A.; Barrett, Chantell J.; Blake, Rodrigo A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department