Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology

, Volume 102, Issue 8, pp 3765–3777 | Cite as

Role of the Group 2 Mrp sodium/proton antiporter in rapid response to high alkaline shock in the alkaline- and salt-tolerant Dietzia sp. DQ12-45-1b

  • Hui Fang
  • Xiao-Yu Qin
  • Kai-Duan Zhang
  • Yong Nie
  • Xiao-Lei Wu
Applied microbial and cell physiology


The six- and seven-subunit Na+/H+ antiporters (Mrp) are widely distributed in bacteria. They are reported to be integral for pH homeostasis in alkaliphilic bacteria when adapting to high pH environments. In this study, operons encoding for the six-subunit Na+/H+ antiporters were found in the genomes of all studied Dietzia strains, which have different alkaline-resistant abilities. Disruption of the operon in the strain Dietzia sp. DQ12-45-1b which leads to declined growth in presence of hypersaline and alkaline conditions suggested that the six-subunit Na+/H+ antiporter played an important role in hypersaline and alkaline resistance. Although the complexes DqMrp from DQ12-45-1b (strain with high alkaline resistance) and DaMrp from D. alimentaria 72T (strain with low alkaline resistance) displayed Na+(Li+)/H+ antiport activities, they functioned optimally at different pH levels (9.0 for DQ12-45-1b and 8.0 for 72T). While both antiporters functioned properly to protect Escherichia coli cells from salt shock, only the DqMrp-containing strain survived the high alkaline shock. Furthermore, real-time PCR results showed that the expression of mrpA and mrpD induced only immediately after DQ12-45-1b cells were subjected to the alkaline shock. These results suggested that the expression of DqMrp might be induced by a pH gradient across the cell membrane, and DqMrp mainly functioned at an early stage to respond to the alkaline shock.


Sodium/proton antiporter Dietzia Alkaline stress responses Alkaline tolerant 



The authors would like to thank Prof. Lei Wang from China Agricultural University for kindly providing E. coli KNabc.


This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31225001 to XLW, and 31300108 to YN) and the National Basic Research Program of China (“973” Program, 2014CB846002).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors.

Supplementary material

253_2018_8846_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (710 kb)
ESM 1 (PDF 710 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.College of EngineeringPeking UniversityBeijingPeople’s Republic of China

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