1887

Abstract

The soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) is a key enzyme for methane oxidation, and is found in only some methanotrophs, including 5. sMMO expression is regulated at the level of transcription from a promoter by a copper-switch, and is only expressed when the copper-to-biomass ratio during growth is low. Extensive phylogenetic and genetic analyses of sMMOs and other soluble di-iron monooxygenases reveal that these enzymes have only been acquired relatively recently through horizontal gene transfer. In this study, further evidence of horizontal gene transfer was obtained, through cloning and sequencing of the genes encoding the sMMO enzyme complex plus the regulatory genes and , and identification of a duplicate copy of the gene in . encodes the subunit of the hydroxylase of the sMMO enzyme, which constitutes the active site ( Prior & Dalton, 1985 ). The genes were characterized at the molecular and biochemical levels. Although both copies were transcribed, only copy 1 was essential for sMMO activity. Construction of an sMMO mutant by marker-exchange mutagenesis gave some possible insights into the role of the water-soluble pigment in siderophore-mediated iron acquisition. Finally, the amenability of to genetic manipulation was demonstrated by complementing the sMMO mutant by heterologous expression of sMMO genes from OB3b and (Bath), and it was shown that could be used as an alternative model organism for molecular analysis of MMO regulation.

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2006-10-01
2020-08-08
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