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Braz. j. med. biol. res ; 45(12): 1127-1134, Dec. 2012. ilus
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-659650


DNA repair is crucial to the survival of all organisms. The bacterial RecA protein is a central component in the SOS response and in recombinational and SOS DNA repairs. The RecX protein has been characterized as a negative modulator of RecA activity in many bacteria. The recA and recX genes of Herbaspirillum seropedicae constitute a single operon, and evidence suggests that RecX participates in SOS repair. In the present study, we show that the H. seropedicae RecX protein (RecX Hs) can interact with the H. seropedicaeRecA protein (RecA Hs) and that RecA Hs possesses ATP binding, ATP hydrolyzing and DNA strand exchange activities. RecX Hs inhibited 90% of the RecA Hs DNA strand exchange activity even when present in a 50-fold lower molar concentration than RecA Hs. RecA Hs ATP binding was not affected by the addition of RecX, but the ATPase activity was reduced. When RecX Hs was present before the formation of RecA filaments (RecA-ssDNA), inhibition of ATPase activity was substantially reduced and excess ssDNA also partially suppressed this inhibition. The results suggest that the RecX Hs protein negatively modulates the RecA Hs activities by protein-protein interactions and also by DNA-protein interactions.

Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Herbaspirillum/chemistry , Rec A Recombinases/metabolism , DNA, Bacterial , Escherichia coli/metabolism , Protein Binding
Braz. j. microbiol ; 43(2): 661-674, Apr.-June 2012. ilus, graf, tab
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-644484


The acidic peatlands of southern Brazil are ecosystems essential for the maintenance of the Atlantic Forest, one of the 25 hot-spots of biodiversity in the world. In this work, we investigated the composition of prokaryotic communities in four histosols of three acidic peatland regions by constructing small-subunit (SSU) rRNA gene libraries and sequencing. SSU rRNA gene sequence analysis showed the prevalence of Acidobacteria (38.8%) and Proteobacteria (27.4%) of the Bacteria domain and Miscellaneous (58%) and Terrestrial (24%) groups of Crenarchaeota of the Archaea domain. As observed in other ecosystems, archaeal communities showed lower richness than bacterial communities. We also found a limited number of Euryarchaeota and of known methanotrophic bacteria in the clone libraries.

Base Sequence , Biodiversity , Ecology , Ecosystem , Environmental Microbiology , Euryarchaeota/genetics , In Vitro Techniques , Wetlands/analysis , Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods , Sequence Analysis , Soil Microbiology , Electrophoresis , Microbiology , Prevalence , Soil
Braz. j. med. biol. res ; 45(2): 113-117, Feb. 2012. ilus, tab
Article in English | LILACS | ID: lil-614577


Azospirillum brasilense is a nitrogen-fixing bacterium associated with important agricultural crops such as rice, wheat and maize. The expression of genes responsible for nitrogen fixation (nif genes) in this bacterium is dependent on the transcriptional activator NifA. This protein contains three structural domains: the N-terminal domain is responsible for the negative control by fixed nitrogen; the central domain interacts with the RNA polymerase σ54 co-factor and the C-terminal domain is involved in DNA binding. The central and C-terminal domains are linked by the interdomain linker (IDL). A conserved four-cysteine motif encompassing the end of the central domain and the IDL is probably involved in the oxygen-sensitivity of NifA. In the present study, we have expressed, purified and characterized an N-truncated form of A. brasilense NifA. The protein expression was carried out in Escherichia coli and the N-truncated NifA protein was purified by chromatography using an affinity metal-chelating resin followed by a heparin-bound resin. Protein homogeneity was determined by densitometric analysis. The N-truncated protein activated in vivo nifH::lacZ transcription regardless of fixed nitrogen concentration (absence or presence of 20 mM NH4Cl) but only under low oxygen levels. On the other hand, the aerobically purified N-truncated NifA protein bound to the nifB promoter, as demonstrated by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay, implying that DNA-binding activity is not strictly controlled by oxygen levels. Our data show that, while the N-truncated NifA is inactive in vivo under aerobic conditions, it still retains DNA-binding activity, suggesting that the oxidized form of NifA bound to DNA is not competent to activate transcription.

Azospirillum brasilense/metabolism , Bacterial Proteins/metabolism , Nitrogen Fixation/genetics , Transcription Factors/metabolism , Azospirillum brasilense/chemistry , Azospirillum brasilense/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/genetics , Bacterial Proteins/isolation & purification , Carrier Proteins/genetics , Carrier Proteins/isolation & purification , Carrier Proteins/metabolism , Transcription Factors/genetics , Transcription Factors/isolation & purification