2Pushchino State Institute of Natural Sciences, 142290 Pushchino, Moscow Region, Russia
* To whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received September 12, 2016; Revision received October 18, 2016
Two key enzymes of the ribulose monophosphate (RuMP) cycle for formaldehyde fixation, 3-hexulose-6-phosphate synthase (HPS) and 6-phospho-3-hexulose isomerase (PHI), in the aerobic halotolerant methanotroph Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20Z are encoded by the genes hps and phi and the fused gene hps-phi. The recombinant enzymes HPS-His6, PHI-His6, and the two-domain protein HPS–PHI were obtained by heterologous expression in Escherichia coli and purified by affinity chromatography. PHI-His6, HPS-His6 (2 × 20 kDa), and the fused protein HPS–PHI (2 × 40 kDa) catalyzed formation of fructose 6-phosphate from formaldehyde and ribulose-5-phosphate with activities of 172 and 22 U/mg, respectively. As judged from the kcat/Km ratio, HPS-His6 had higher catalytic efficiency but lower affinity to formaldehyde compared to HPS–PHI. AMP and ADP were powerful inhibitors of both HPS and HPS–PHI activities. The two-domain HPS–PHI did not show isomerase activity, but the sequences corresponding to its HPS and PHI regions, when expressed separately, were found to produce active enzymes. Inactivation of the hps-phi fused gene did not affect the growth rate of the mutant strain. Analysis of annotated genomes revealed the separately located genes hps and phi in all the RuMP pathway methylotrophs, whereas the hps-phi fused gene occurred only in several methanotrophs and was absent in methylotrophs not growing under methane. The significance of these tandems in adaptation and biotechnological potential of methylotrophs is discussed.
KEY WORDS: methylotrophic bacteria, Methylomicrobium alcaliphilum 20Z, 3-hexulose-6-phosphate synthase, 6-phospho-3-hexulose isomerase, ribulose monophosphate cycle