Marinobacter adhaerens HP15 harbors two CzcCBA efflux pumps involved in zinc detoxification

Abstract

Several members of the ubiquitously found γ-proteobacterial genus Marinobacter were described or assumed to inhabit marine environments naturally enriched in heavy metals. However, direct studies that describe the ability of this genus to occupy such environments have not been conducted. To cope with heavy metal stress, bacteria possess specific efflux pumps as tools for detoxification, among which the CzcCBA type efflux system is one representative. Previous studies showed that this system plays an important role in resistance towards cadmium, zinc, and cobalt. Up to now, no study had focused on characterization of Czc pumps in Marinobacter sp. or other marine prokaryotes. Herein, we elucidated the function of two CzcCBA pumps encoded by Marinobacter adhaerens HP15’s genome during exposure to cadmium, zinc, and cobalt. Single and double knock-out mutants lacking the corresponding two czcCBA operons were generated and analyzed in terms of their resistance profiles. Both operons appeared to be important for zinc resistance but had no role in tolerance towards cadmium or cobalt. One of the mutations was genetically complemented thereby restoring the wild type phenotype. In accordance with the resistance pattern, expression of the genes coding for both CzcCBA pumps was induced by zinc but neither by cadmium nor cobalt.

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Acknowledgments

This project was funded by the Helmholtz Graduate School for Polar and Marine Research (POLMAR) and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (UL 169/6-1). The authors would like to thank Dr. Helge Weingart for excellent technical suggestions on mutant generation and Desalegne Abebew Syit for help with cloning of knock-out plasmids.

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Correspondence to Matthias S. Ullrich.

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Stahl, A., Pletzer, D., Mehmood, A. et al. Marinobacter adhaerens HP15 harbors two CzcCBA efflux pumps involved in zinc detoxification. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek 108, 649–658 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10482-015-0520-5

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Keywords

  • CzcA
  • Multidrug efflux pump
  • Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34
  • Zinc
  • Heavy metal resistance
  • Czc operon