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Aspartate transcarbamylase from the deep-sea hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus abyssi: genetic organization, structure, and expression in Escherichia coli
Purcarea, C.; Hervé, G.; Ladjimi, M.; Cunin, R. (1997). Aspartate transcarbamylase from the deep-sea hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus abyssi: genetic organization, structure, and expression in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 179(13): 4143-4157
In: Journal of bacteriology. AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY: Washington, D.C., etc.. ISSN 0021-9193, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine

Authors  Top 
  • Purcarea, C.
  • Hervé, G.
  • Ladjimi, M.
  • Cunin, R.

Abstract
    The genes coding for aspartate transcarbamylase (ATCase) in the deep-sea hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyococcus abyssi were cloned by complementation of a pyrB Escherichia coli mutant. The sequence revealed the existence of a pyrBI operon, coding for a catalytic chain and a regulatory chain, as in Enterobacteriaceae. Comparison of primary sequences of the polypeptides encoded by the pyrB and pyrI genes with those of homologous eubacterial and eukaryotic chains showed a high degree of conservation of the residues which in E. coli ATCase are involved in catalysis and allosteric regulation. The regulatory chain shows more-extensive divergence with respect to that of E. coli and other Enterobacteriaceae than the catalytic chain. Several substitutions suggest the existence in P. abyssi ATCase of additional hydrophobic interactions and ionic bonds which are probably involved in protein stabilization at high temperatures. The catalytic chain presents a secondary structure similar to that of the E. coli enzyme. Modeling of the tridimensional structure of this chain provides a folding close to that of the E. coli protein in spite of several significant differences. Conservation of numerous pairs of residues involved in the interfaces between different chains or subunits in E. coli ATCase suggests that the P. abyssi enzyme has a quaternary structure similar to that of the E. coli enzyme. P. abyssi ATCase expressed in transgenic E. coli cells exhibited reduced cooperativity for aspartate binding and sensitivity to allosteric effecters, as well as a decreased thermostability and barostability, suggesting that in P. abyssi cells this enzyme is further stabilized through its association with other cellular components.

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