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  • 1
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 13 December 2011, Vol.108(50), pp.20130-5
    Description: The fixation of atmospheric N(2) by cyanobacteria is a major source of nitrogen in the biosphere. In Nostocales, such as Anabaena, this process is spatially separated from oxygenic photosynthesis and occurs in heterocysts. Upon nitrogen step-down, these specialized cells differentiate from vegetative cells in a process controlled by two major regulators: NtcA and HetR. However, the regulon controlled by these two factors is only partially defined, and several aspects of the differentiation process have remained enigmatic. Using differential RNA-seq, we experimentally define a genome-wide map of 〉10,000 transcriptional start sites (TSS) of Anabaena sp. PCC7120, a model organism for the study of prokaryotic cell differentiation and N(2) fixation. By analyzing the adaptation to nitrogen stress, our global TSS map provides insight into the dynamic changes that modify the transcriptional organization at a critical step of the differentiation process. We identify 〉900 TSS with minimum fold change in response to nitrogen deficiency of eight. From these TSS, at least 209 were under control of HetR, whereas at least 158 other TSS were potentially directly controlled by NtcA. Our analysis of the promoters activated during the switch to N(2) fixation adds hundreds of protein-coding genes and noncoding transcripts to the list of potentially involved factors. These data experimentally define the NtcA regulon and the DIF(+) motif, a palindrome at or close to position -35 that seems essential for heterocyst-specific expression of certain genes.
    Keywords: Transcription Initiation Site ; Anabaena -- Cytology ; Nitrogen -- Pharmacology ; Stress, Physiological -- Drug Effects
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 2
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011, Vol.108(5), pp.2124-2129
    Description: There has been an increasing interest in cyanobacteria because these photosynthetic organisms convert solar energy into biomass and because of their potential for the production of biofuels. However, the exploitation of cyanobacteria for bioengineering requires knowledge of their transcriptional organization. Using differential RNA sequencing, we have established a genome-wide map of 3,527 transcriptional start sites (TSS) of the model organism Synechocystis sp. PCC6803. One-third of all TSS were located upstream of an annotated gene; another third were on the reverse complementary strand of 866 genes, suggesting massive antisense transcription. Orphan TSS located in intergenic regions led us to predict 314 noncoding RNAs (ncRNAs). Complementary microarray-based RNA profiling verified a high number of noncoding transcripts and identified strong ncRNA regulations. Thus, ~64% of all TSS give rise to antisense or ncRNAs in a genome that is to 87% protein coding. Our data enhance the information on promoters by a factor of 40, suggest the existence of additional small peptide-encoding mRNAs, and provide corrected 5' annotations for many genes of this cyanobacterium. The global TSS map will facilitate the use of Synechocystis sp. PCC6803 as a model organism for further research on photosynthesis and energy research. ; Includes references ; p. 2124-2129.
    Keywords: Transcription (Genetics) -- Physiological Aspects ; Cyanobacteria -- Genetic Aspects ; Genetic Regulation -- Research ; Rna Polymerases -- Properties;
    ISSN: 0027-8424
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  • 3
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2011, Vol.108(25), pp.10109-10114
    Description: HetR is an essential regulator of heterocyst development in cyanobacteria. HetR binds to a DNA palindrome upstream of the hetP gene. We report the crystal structure of HetR from Fischerella at 3.0 Å. The protein is a dimer comprised of a central DNA-binding unit containing the N-terminal regions of the two subunits organized with two helix-turn-helix motifs; two globular flaps extending in opposite directions; and a hood over the central core formed from the C-terminal subdomains. The flaps and hood have no structural precedent in the protein database, therefore representing new folds. The structural assignments are supported by site-directed mutagenesis and DNA-binding studies. We suggest that HetR serves as a scaffold for assembly of transcription components critical for heterocyst development. ; p. 10109-10114.
    Keywords: Genes ; Databases ; Site-Directed Mutagenesis ; Fischerella ; Dna ; Helix-Turn-Helix Motifs ; Transcription Factors ; Crystal Structure
    ISSN: 0027-8424
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  • 4
    Language: English
    In: Plant physiology, November 2013, Vol.163(3), pp.1191-202
    Description: The NAD(P)H oxidoreductase or complex I (NDH1) complex participates in many processes such as respiration, cyclic electron flow, and inorganic carbon concentration in the cyanobacterial cell. Despite immense progress in our understanding of the structure-function relation of the cyanobacterial NDH1 complex, the subunits catalyzing NAD(P)H docking and oxidation are still missing. The gene sml0013 of Synechocystis 6803 encodes for a small protein of unknown function for which homologs exist in all completely known cyanobacterial genomes. The protein exhibits weak similarities to the NDH-dependent flow6 (NDF6) protein, which was reported from Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana) chloroplasts as a NDH subunit. An sml0013 inactivation mutant of Synechocystis 6803 was generated and characterized. It showed only weak differences regarding growth and pigmentation in various culture conditions; most remarkably, it exhibited a glucose-sensitive phenotype in the light. The genome-wide expression pattern of the Δsml0013::Km mutant was almost identical to the wild type when grown under high CO2 conditions as well as after shifts to low CO2 conditions. However, measurements of the photosystem I redox kinetic in cells of the Δsml0013::Km mutant revealed differences, such as a decreased capability of cyclic electron flow as well as electron flow into respiration in comparison with the wild type. These results suggest that the Sml0013 protein (named NdhP) represents a novel subunit of the cyanobacterial NDH1 complex, mediating its coupling either to the respiratory or the photosynthetic electron flow.
    Keywords: Bacterial Proteins -- Genetics ; Cyanobacteria -- Genetics ; Nadph Oxidases -- Genetics ; Photosystem I Protein Complex -- Genetics ; Synechocystis -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00320889
    E-ISSN: 1532-2548
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  • 5
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 15 November 2016, Vol.113(46), pp.13191-13196
    Description: The oceanic N-fixing cyanobacterium Trichodesmium spp. form extensive surface blooms and contribute significantly to marine carbon and nitrogen cycles in the oligotrophic subtropical and tropical oceans. Trichodesmium grows in salinities from 27 to 43 parts per thousand (ppt), yet its salt acclimation strategy remains enigmatic because the genome of Trichodesmium erythraeum strain IMS101 lacks all genes for the biosynthesis of any known compatible solute. Using NMR and liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectroscopy, we identified the main compatible solute in T. erythraeum strain IMS101 as the quaternary ammonium compound N,N,N-trimethyl homoserine (or homoserine betaine) and elucidated its biosynthetic pathway. The identification of this compatible solute explains how Trichodesmium spp. can thrive in the marine system at varying salinities and provides further insight into the diversity of microbial salt acclimation.
    Keywords: Compatible Solute ; Cyanobacteria ; Salt Stress ; Salt Tolerance ; Homoserine -- Analogs & Derivatives ; Trichodesmium -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 6
    Language: English
    In: Plant physiology, October 2012, Vol.160(2), pp.1000-10
    Description: The D1 protein of photosystem II in the thylakoid membrane of photosynthetic organisms is encoded by psbA genes, which in cyanobacteria occur in the form of a small gene family. Light-dependent up-regulation of psbA gene expression is crucial to ensure the proper replacement of the D1 protein. To gain a high level of gene expression, psbA transcription can be enhanced by several orders of magnitude. Recent transcriptome analyses demonstrated a high number of cis-encoded antisense RNAs (asRNAs) in bacteria, but very little is known about their possible functions. Here, we show the presence of two cis-encoded asRNAs (PsbA2R and PsbA3R) of psbA2 and psbA3 from Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803. These asRNAs are located in the 5' untranslated region of psbA2 and psbA3 genes. Their expression becomes up-regulated by light and down-regulated by darkness, similar to their target mRNAs. In the PsbA2R-suppressing strain [PsbA2R(-)], the amount of psbA2 mRNA was only about 50% compared with the control strain. Likewise, we identified a 15% lowered activity of photosystem II and a reduced amount of the D1 protein in PsbA2R(-) compared with the control strain. The function of PsbA2R in the stabilization of psbA2 mRNA was shown from in vitro RNase E assay when the AU box and the ribosome-binding site in the 5' untranslated region of psbA2 mRNA were both covered by PsbA2R. These results add another layer of complexity to the mechanisms that contribute to psbA gene expression and show PsbA2R as a positively acting factor to achieve a maximum level of D1 synthesis.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; Photosystem II Protein Complex -- Metabolism ; RNA, Antisense -- Genetics ; Synechocystis -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 00320889
    E-ISSN: 1532-2548
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  • 7
    Language: English
    In: Plant physiology, February 2011, Vol.155(2), pp.892-905
    Description: Retrograde signaling is a pathway of communication from mitochondria and plastids to the nucleus in the context of cell differentiation, development, and stress response. In Chlamydomonas reinhardtii, the tetrapyrroles magnesium-protoporphyrin IX and heme are only synthesized within the chloroplast, and they have been implicated in the retrograde control of nuclear gene expression in this unicellular green alga. Feeding the two tetrapyrroles to Chlamydomonas cultures was previously shown to transiently induce five nuclear genes, three of which encode the heat shock proteins HSP70A, HSP70B, and HSP70E. In contrast, controversial results exist on the possible role of magnesium-protoporphyrin IX in the repression of genes for light-harvesting proteins in higher plants, raising the question of how important this mode of regulation is. Here, we used genome-wide transcriptional profiling to measure the global impact of these tetrapyrroles on gene regulation and the scope of the response. We identified almost 1,000 genes whose expression level changed transiently but significantly. Among them were only a few genes for photosynthetic proteins but several encoding enzymes of the tricarboxylic acid cycle, heme-binding proteins, stress-response proteins, as well as proteins involved in protein folding and degradation. More than 50% of the latter class of genes was also regulated by heat shock. The observed drastic fold changes at the RNA level did not correlate with similar changes in protein concentrations under the tested experimental conditions. Phylogenetic profiling revealed that genes of putative endosymbiontic origin are not overrepresented among the responding genes. This and the transient nature of changes in gene expression suggest a signaling role of both tetrapyrroles as secondary messengers for adaptive responses affecting the entire cell and not only organellar proteins.
    Keywords: Gene Expression Regulation, Plant ; Chlamydomonas Reinhardtii -- Genetics ; Hemin -- Pharmacology ; Protoporphyrins -- Pharmacology
    ISSN: 00320889
    E-ISSN: 1532-2548
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  • 8
    Language: English
    In: Molecular microbiology, April 2011, Vol.80(2), pp.492-506
    Description: Wounded plants activate a complex defence programme in response to Agrobacterium tumefaciens. They synthesize the non-proteinogenic amino acid γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which stimulates degradation of the quorum sensing signal N-(3-oxo-octanoyl) homoserine lactone. GABA is transported into A. tumefaciens via an ABC transporter dependent on the periplasmic binding protein Atu2422. We demonstrate that expression of atu2422 and two other ABC transporter genes is downregulated by the conserved small RNA (sRNA) AbcR1 (for ABC regulator). AbcR1 is encoded in tandem with another sRNA, which is similar in sequence and structure. Both sRNAs accumulate during stationary phase but only the absence of AbcR1 resulted in significant accumulation of Atu2422 and increased GABA import. AbcR1 inhibits initiation of atu2422 translation by masking its Shine-Dalgarno sequence and thereby reduces stability of the atu2422 transcript. It is the first described bacterial sRNA that controls uptake of a plant-generated signalling molecule. Given that similar sRNAs and ABC transporter genes are present in various Rhizobiaceae and in Brucella, it is likely that such sRNA-mediated control impacts a number of host-microbe interactions.
    Keywords: Gene Expression ; Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial ; ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters -- Biosynthesis ; Agrobacterium Tumefaciens -- Physiology ; RNA, Small Interfering -- Metabolism ; Gamma-Aminobutyric Acid -- Metabolism
    ISSN: 0950382X
    E-ISSN: 1365-2958
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  • 9
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 10 September 2013, Vol.110(37), pp.E3487-96
    Description: Small RNAs (sRNAs) constitute a large and heterogeneous class of bacterial gene expression regulators. Much like eukaryotic microRNAs, these sRNAs typically target multiple mRNAs through short seed pairing, thereby acting as global posttranscriptional regulators. In some bacteria, evidence for hundreds to possibly more than 1,000 different sRNAs has been obtained by transcriptome sequencing. However, the experimental identification of possible targets and, therefore, their confirmation as functional regulators of gene expression has remained laborious. Here, we present a strategy that integrates phylogenetic information to predict sRNA targets at the genomic scale and reconstructs regulatory networks upon functional enrichment and network analysis (CopraRNA, for Comparative Prediction Algorithm for sRNA Targets). Furthermore, CopraRNA precisely predicts the sRNA domains for target recognition and interaction. When applied to several model sRNAs, CopraRNA revealed additional targets and functions for the sRNAs CyaR, FnrS, RybB, RyhB, SgrS, and Spot42. Moreover, the mRNAs gdhA, lrp, marA, nagZ, ptsI, sdhA, and yobF-cspC were suggested as regulatory hubs targeted by up to seven different sRNAs. The verification of many previously undetected targets by CopraRNA, even for extensively investigated sRNAs, demonstrates its advantages and shows that CopraRNA-based analyses can compete with experimental target prediction approaches. A Web interface allows high-confidence target prediction and efficient classification of bacterial sRNAs.
    Keywords: E. Coli ; RNA–RNA Interaction ; Regulatory RNA ; RNA, Bacterial -- Genetics
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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  • 10
    Language: English
    In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 21 June 2011, Vol.108(25), pp.10109-14
    Description: HetR is an essential regulator of heterocyst development in cyanobacteria. HetR binds to a DNA palindrome upstream of the hetP gene. We report the crystal structure of HetR from Fischerella at 3.0 Å. The protein is a dimer comprised of a central DNA-binding unit containing the N-terminal regions of the two subunits organized with two helix-turn-helix motifs; two globular flaps extending in opposite directions; and a hood over the central core formed from the C-terminal subdomains. The flaps and hood have no structural precedent in the protein database, therefore representing new folds. The structural assignments are supported by site-directed mutagenesis and DNA-binding studies. We suggest that HetR serves as a scaffold for assembly of transcription components critical for heterocyst development.
    Keywords: Protein Structure, Quaternary ; Protein Structure, Tertiary ; Bacterial Proteins -- Chemistry ; Cyanobacteria -- Physiology ; Transcription Factors -- Chemistry
    ISSN: 00278424
    E-ISSN: 1091-6490
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