Regulation of hyu gene expression in Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains RU-AE01 and RU-OR

Jiwaji, M. (2007) Regulation of hyu gene expression in Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains RU-AE01 and RU-OR. PhD thesis, Rhodes University.

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Abstract

Several Agrobacterium tumefaciens strains have been isolated for their ability to produce D-amino acids from D, L-substituted hydantoins. The optically pure D-amino acids are used in the synthesis of pharmaceuticals, as food additives and as insecticides. This hydrolysis of D, L-substituted hydantoins is catalysed by two hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes, an hydantoinase and an N-carbamyl amino acid amidohydrolase. While the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes have been studied in detail, the mechanisms that control expression of the hyu genes have not. The research reported in this work elucidates some of the mechanisms involved in the regulation of the hyu genes in A. tumefaciens strains. The hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzyme activity from the environmental isolate A. tumefaciens RU-AE01 was characterized. A broad host range vector for the simultaneous analysis of divergent promoters was constructed. The promoter regions responsible for the activation of transcription of hyuH and hyuC were identified by deletion analysis. It was proposed that transcription of hyuH was activated by a putative σ[superscript 54]-dependent promoter or a putative σ[superscript 70]-dependent promoter identified upstream of the hyuH gene. The hyuC gene was activated by a putative σ[superscript 70]-dependent promoter identified upstream of the hyuC gene. The regulation of hydantoinase and N-carbamyl amino acid amidohydrolase enzyme activity was compared to the regulation of transcription from the RU-AE01 hyuH-hyuC region. Expression of the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes was regulated by induction which correlated with reporter enzyme expression from the hyuH and hyuC promoter regions. However, the expression of the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes was also regulated by nitrogen catabolite repression (NCR). This did not correlate to the reporter gene expression of the hyuH promoter region but did compare to the reporter gene expression of the hyuC promoter region. This suggested that NCR of hyuH was at the post-translational level whereas NCR of the hyuC promoter was at the transcriptional level. Pathways involved in the regulation of the hyu genes were characterized. The production of the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes in both A. tumefaciens strains RU-AE01 and RU-OR were regulated by proteins involved in the global ntr pathway. The levels of the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes in strain RU-AE01 were elevated in the presence of increased levels of NtrB and NtrC illustrating the importance of the ntr pathway in the regulation of the levels of the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzymes. Similarly, in RU-OR the presence of exogenous NtrB and NtrC elevated levels of N-carbamyl amino acid amidohydrolase activity. However, the levels of hydantoinase enzyme activity in strain RU-OR were elevated in the presence of NtrC alone. In addition, the presence of a His6-tagged NtrC molecule abolished the elevation in the levels of the hydantoinase but not the N-carbamyl amino acid amidohydrolase enzyme activity in strain RU-OR. This suggests that NtrC has a direct role in the regulation of the expression of hyuH in RU-OR. In addition, it indicates that the hyu genes in the two A. tumefaciens strains RU-AE01 and RU-OR are different. The presence of the RU-AE01 hyuH-hyuC fragment caused a dramatic increase in the hydantoin-hydrolyzing enzyme activity in strain RU-OR but not strain RU-AE01. This implied the incidence of a possible repressor protein in RU-OR, which is titrated out by the presence of the RU-AE01 hyuH-hyuC fragment. Protein-DNA binding assays suggest that this putative repressor may be 38 kDa in RU-OR cells.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:Ph.D. (Microbiology)
Uncontrolled Keywords:hydantoinase, N-carbamyl amino acid amidohydrolase, transcription, regulation, Agrobacterium tumefaciens, amino acids, gene expression, enzymes
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Science > Biochemistry, Microbiology & Biotechnology
Supervisors:Dorrington, R.A. (Prof.)
ID Code:911
Deposited By: Rhodes Library Archive Administrator
Deposited On:11 Jan 2008
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:19
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