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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Genetic complementation of an outer membrane cytochrome omcB mutant of Shewanella putrefaciens MR-1 requires omcB plus downstream DNA.

Anaerobically grown cells of the metal-reducing bacterium Shewanella putrefaciens MR-1 contain multiple outer membrane (OM) cytochromes. A gene replacement mutant (strain OMCB1) lacking the OM cytochrome OmcB is markedly deficient in the reduction of MnO2 and exhibits reduced rates of Fe(III) reduction. The levels of other OM cytochromes are also decreased in OMCB1. Complementation of OMCB1 with wild-type omcB did not restore any of these defects. However, a 21-kb genomic fragment from MR-1, which included omcB and 19 kb of downstream DNA, fully restored MnO2 and Fe(III) reduction and the full complement of OM cytochromes to OMCB1. A 14.7-kb DNA fragment, including omcB and 12 kb of downstream DNA, provided only a modest increase in MnO2 reduction and OM cytochrome content, but it fully restored Fe(III) citrate reduction and partially restored FeOOH reduction. While omcB mRNA was readily detected in this complement, the OmcB protein was not detected in any cellular compartment. The restoration of Fe(III) reduction despite the absence of OmcB suggests that OmcB itself is not required for Fe(III) reduction. Another OM cytochrome, OmcA, was mislocalized to the cytoplasmic membrane of OMCB1. Only the 21-kb genomic fragment was able to restore proper localization of OmcA to the OM. This 21-kb fragment does not contain omcA, but it does contain several open reading frames (ORFs) downstream from omcB. The most downstream of these ORFs (altA) encodes a putative AraC-like transcriptional regulator. However, a gene replacement mutant of altA resembled the wild type with respect to MnO2 reduction, OM cytochrome content, and the localization of OmcA and OmcB to the OM. Since OMCB1 continues to express genes immediately downstream from omcB, the lack of expression of this downstream DNA does not explain its phenotype or the need for the large complementing fragment. The results suggest that the DNA downstream of omcB must be present in cis in order to restore Fe(III) reduction, MnO2 reduction, OM cytochrome content, and the localization of OmcA and OmcB to the OM.[1]


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