, Volume 30, Issue 2, pp 91-101
Date: 22 Jan 2011

Validation of Arsenic Resistance in Bacillus cereus Strain AG27 by Comparative Protein Modeling of arsC Gene Product

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The ars gene system provides arsenic resistance to a variety of microorganisms and can be chromosomal or plasmid-borne. The arsC gene, which codes for an arsenate reductase is essential for arsenate resistance and transforms arsenate into arsenite, which is extruded from the cell. Therefore, arsC gene from Bacillus cereus strain AG27 isolated from soil was amplified, cloned and sequenced. The strain exhibited a minimum inhibitory concentration of 40 and 35 mM to sodium arsenate and sodium arsenite, respectively. Homology of the sequence, when compared with available database using BLASTn search showed that 300 bp amplicons obtained possess partial arsC gene sequence which codes for arsenate reductase, an enzyme involved in the reduction of arsenate to arsenite which is then effluxed out of the cell, thereby indicating the presence of efflux mechanism of resistance in strain. The efflux mechanism was further confirmed by atomic absorption spectroscopy and scanning electron microscopy studies. Moreover, three dimensional structure of modeled arsC from Bacillus cereus strain shares significant structural similarity with arsenate reductase protein of B.subtilis, consisting of, highly similar overall fold with single α/β domain containing a central four stranded, parallel, open-twisted β-sheet flanked by α-helices on both sides. The structure harbors the arsenic binding motif AB loop or P-loop that is highly conserved in arsenate reductase family.

Sourabh Jain and Bhoomika Saluja have contributed equally.