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Structure and Expression of Propanediol Utilization Microcompartments in Acetonema longum

Tocheva, Elitza I., Matson, Eric G., Cheng, Sarah N., Chen, Wesley G., Leadbetter, Jared R., Jensen, Grant J.
Journal of bacteriology 2014 v.196 no.9 pp. 1651-1658
Acetonema longum, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium, bacteria, bacteriology, chemical reactions, cytoplasm, image analysis, operon, proteins, regulator genes, rhamnose, transcription (genetics)
Numerous bacteria assemble proteinaceous microcompartments to isolate certain biochemical reactions within the cytoplasm. The assembly, structure, contents, and functions of these microcompartments are active areas of research. Here we show that the Gram-negative sporulating bacterium Acetonema longum synthesizes propanediol utilization (PDU) microcompartments when starved or grown on 1,2-propanediol (1,2-PD) or rhamnose. Electron cryotomography of intact cells revealed that PDU microcompartments are highly irregular in shape and size, similar to purified PDU microcompartments from Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2 that were imaged previously. Homology searches identified a 20-gene operon in A. longum that contains most of the structural, enzymatic, and regulatory genes thought to be involved in PDU microcompartment assembly and function. Transcriptional data on PduU and PduC, which are major structural and enzymatic proteins, respectively, as well as imaging, indicate that PDU microcompartment synthesis is induced within 24 h of growth on 1,2-PD and after 48 h of growth on rhamnose.