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Title: Hyperaccumulation of Gadolinium by Methylorubrum extorquens AM1 Reveals Impacts of Lanthanides on Cellular Processes Beyond Methylotrophy
Lanthanides (Ln) are a new group of life metals, and many questions remain regarding how they are acquired and used in biology. Methylotrophic bacteria can acquire, transport, biomineralize, and use Ln as part of a cofactor complex with pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) in alcohol dehydrogenases. For most methylotrophic bacteria use is restricted to the light Ln, which range from lanthanum to samarium (atomic numbers 57–62). Understanding how the cell differentiates between light and heavy Ln, and the impacts of these metals on the metabolic network, will advance the field of Ln biochemistry and give insights into enzyme catalysis, stress homeostasis, and metal biomineralization and compartmentalization. We report robust methanol growth with the heavy Ln gadolinium by a genetic variant of the model methylotrophic bacterium Methylorubrum extorquens AM1, named evo -HLn, for “ evo lved for H eavy L antha n ides.” A non-synonymous single nucleotide polymorphism in a cytosolic hybrid histidine kinase/response regulator allowed for sweeping transcriptional alterations to heavy metal stress response, methanol oxidation, and central metabolism. Increased expression of genes for Ln acquisition and uptake, production of the Ln-chelating lanthanophore, PQQ biosynthesis, and phosphate transport and metabolism resulted in gadolinium hyperaccumulation of 36-fold with a trade-off for light Ln more » accumulation. Gadolinium was hyperaccumulated in an enlarged acidocalcisome-like compartment. This is the first evidence of a bacterial intracellular Ln-containing compartment that we name the “lanthasome.” Carotenoid and toblerol biosynthesis were also upregulated. Due to its unique capabilities, evo -HLn can be used to further magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and bioremediation technologies. In this regard, we show that gadolinium hyperaccumulation was sufficient to produce MRI contrast in whole cells, and that evo -HLn was able to readily acquire the metal from the MRI contrast agent gadopentetic acid. Finally, hyperaccumulation of gadolinium, differential uptake of light and heavy Ln, increased PQQ levels, and phosphate transport provide new insights into strategies for Ln recovery. « less
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Frontiers in Microbiology
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National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Lanthanide (Ln) elements are utilized as cofactors for catalysis by XoxF-type methanol dehydrogenases (MDHs). A primary assumption is that XoxF enzymes produce formate from methanol oxidation, which could impact organisms that require formaldehyde for assimilation. We report genetic and phenotypic evidence showing that XoxF1 (MexAM1_1740) fromMethylobacterium extorquensAM1 produces formaldehyde, and not formate, during growth with methanol. Enzyme purified with lanthanum or neodymium oxidizes formaldehyde. However, formaldehyde oxidation via 2,6-dichlorophenol-indophenol (DCPIP) reduction is not detected in cell-free extracts from wild-type strain methanol- and lanthanum-grown cultures. Formaldehyde activating enzyme (Fae) is required for Ln methylotrophic growth, demonstrating that XoxF1-mediated production of formaldehyde is essential. Addition of exogenous lanthanum increases growth rate with methanol by 9–12% but does not correlate with changes to methanol consumption or formaldehyde accumulation. Transcriptomics analysis of lanthanum methanol growth shows upregulation ofxox1and downregulation ofmxagenes, consistent with the Ln-switch, no differential expression of formaldehyde conversion genes, downregulation of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) biosynthesis genes, and upregulation offdh4formate dehydrogenase (FDH) genes. Additionally, the Ln-dependent ethanol dehydrogenase ExaF reduces methanol sensitivity in thefaemutant strain when lanthanides are present, providing evidence for the capacity of an auxiliary role for ExaF during Ln-dependent methylotrophy.

  2. Cotruvo Jr, Joseph A (Ed.)
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