Cerium regulates expression of alternative methanol dehydrogenases in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b

Muhammad Farhan Ul Haque, Bhagyalakshmi Kalidass, Nathan Bandow, Erick A Turpin, Alan A DiSpirito, Jeremy D Semrau

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58 Citations (Scopus)


Methanotrophs have multiple methane monooxygenases that are well known to be regulated by copper, i.e., a “copper switch.” At low copper/biomass ratios the soluble methane monooxygenase (sMMO) is expressed while expression and activity of the particulate methane monooxygenase (pMMO) increases with increasing availability of copper. In many methanotrophs there are also multiple methanol dehydrogenases (MeDHs), one based on Mxa and another based on Xox. Mxa-MeDH is known to have calcium in its active site, while Xox-MeDHs have been shown to have rare earth elements in their active site. We show here that the expression levels of Mxa-MeDH and Xox-MeDH in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b significantly decreased and increased, respectively, when grown in the presence of cerium but the absence of copper compared to the absence of both metals. Expression of sMMO and pMMO was not affected. In the presence of copper, the effect of cerium on gene expression was less significant, i.e., expression of Mxa-MeDH in the presence of copper and cerium was slightly lower than in the presence of copper alone, but Xox-MeDH was again found to increase significantly. As expected, the addition of copper caused sMMO and pMMO expression levels to significantly decrease and increase, respectively, but the simultaneous addition of cerium had no discernible effect on MMO expression. As a result, it appears Mxa-MeDH can be uncoupled from methane oxidation by sMMO in M. trichosporium OB3b but not from pMMO.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7546-7552
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number21
Early online date21 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015

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