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Global Proteome Response to Deletion of Genes Related to Mercury Methylation and Dissimilatory Metal Reduction Reveals Changes In Respiratory Metabolism In Geobacter Sulfurreducens Pca

Publication Type
Journal Name
Journal of Proteome Research
Publication Date
Page Numbers
1 to 3549

Geobacter sulfurreducens PCA can reduce, sorb, and methylate mercury (Hg); however, the underlying biochemical mechanisms of these processes and interdependent metabolic pathways remain unknown. In this study, shotgun proteomics was used to compare global proteome profiles between wild-type G. sulfurreducens PCA and two mutant strains: a Delta-hgcAB mutant, which is deficient in two genes known to be essential for Hg methylation and a Delta-omcBESTZ mutant, which is deficient in five outer membrane c-type cytochromes and thus impaired in its ability for dissimilatory metal ion reduction. We were able to delineate the global response of G. sulfurreducens PCA in both mutants and identify cellular networks and metabolic pathways that were affected by the loss of these genes. Deletion of hgcAB increased the relative abundances of proteins implicated in extracellular electron transfer, including most of the c-type cytochromes, PilA-C, and OmpB, and is consistent with a previously observed increase in Hg reduction in the hgcAB mutant. Deletion of omcBESTZ was found to significantly increase relative abundances of various methyltransferases, suggesting that a loss of dissimilatory reduction capacity results in elevated activity among one-carbon metabolic pathways and thus increased methylation. We show that G. sulfurreducens PCA encodes only the folate branch of the Wood–Ljungdahl pathway, and proteins associated with the folate branch were found at lower abundance in the hgcAB mutant strain than the wild type. This observation supports the hypothesis that the function of HgcA and HgcB may be linked to one carbon metabolism through the folate branch of the Wood-Ljungdahl pathway by providing methyl groups required for Hg methylation.