Journal article

Diversity of cobalamin riboswitches in the corrinoid-producing organohalide respirer Desulfitobacterium hafniense

The strategic adaptation of prokaryotes in polluted niches involves the efficient regulation of their metabolism. The obligate anaerobe and metabolically versatile Desulfitobacterium hafniense reductively dechlorinates halogenated organic compounds (so-called organohalides). Some D. hafniense strains carry out organohalide respiration (OHR), a process which requires the use of corrinoid as a cofactor in reductive dehalogenases, the key enzymes in OHR. We report here the diversity of the cobalamin riboswitches that possibly regulate the corrinoid metabolism for D. hafniense. The analysis of available D. hafniense genomes indicates the presence of eighteen cobalamin riboswitches located upstream of genes whose products are mainly involved in corrinoid biosynthesis and transport. To get insight into their function, the secondary structures of three of these RNA elements were predicted by Mfold as well as analyzed by in-line probing. These RNA elements display diversity in their structural elements as well as exhibit varying affinities towards adenosylcobalamin that possibly relates to their role in the regulation of corrinoid metabolism. Furthermore, adenosylcobalamin-induced in vivo repression of RNA synthesis of the downstream located genes indicates that the corrinoid transporters and biosynthetic enzymes in D. hafniense strain TCE1 are regulated at the transcriptional level. Taken together, the riboswitch-mediated regulation of the complex corrinoid metabolism in D. hafniense could be of crucial significance in environments polluted with organohalides to monitor their intracellular corrinoid level as well as to co-exist with corrinoid-auxotroph OHR bacteria.


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