Adaptive Evolution of Thermotoga maritima Reveals Plasticity of the ABC Transporter Network.

TitleAdaptive Evolution of Thermotoga maritima Reveals Plasticity of the ABC Transporter Network.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsLatif H, Sahin M, Tarasova J, Tarasova Y, Portnoy VA, Nogales J, Zengler K
JournalAppl Environ Microbiol
PubMed Date08/2015

Thermotoga maritima is a hyperthermophilic anaerobe that utilizes a vast network of ABC transporters to efficiently metabolize a variety of carbon sources to produce hydrogen. For unknown reasons, this organism does not metabolize glucose as readily as it does glucose di- and polysaccharides. The leading hypothesis implicates the thermolability of glucose at the physiological temperatures at which T. maritima lives. After a 25-day laboratory evolution, phenotypes were observed with growth rates up to 1.4 times higher than and glucose utilization rates exceeding 50% those of the wild type. Genome resequencing revealed mutations in evolved cultures related to glucose-responsive ABC transporters. The native glucose ABC transporter, GluEFK, has more abundant transcripts either as a result of gene duplication-amplification or through mutations to the operator sequence regulating this operon. Conversely, BglEFGKL, a transporter of beta-glucosides, is substantially downregulated due to a nonsense mutation to the solute binding protein or due to a deletion of the upstream promoter. Analysis of the ABC2 uptake porter families for carbohydrate and peptide transport revealed that the solute binding protein, often among the transcripts detected at the highest levels, is predominantly downregulated in the evolved cultures, while the membrane-spanning domain and nucleotide binding components are less varied. Similar trends were observed in evolved strains grown on glycerol, a substrate that is not dependent on ABC transporters. Therefore, improved growth on glucose is achieved through mutations favoring GluEFK expression over BglEFGKL, and in lieu of carbon catabolite repression, the ABC transporter network is modulated to achieve improved growth fitness.

Alternate JournalAppl. Environ. Microbiol.
PubMed ID26048924
PubMed Central IDPMC4510162
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