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J Bacteriol. 2001 Jan;183(2):628-36.

pbpB, a gene coding for a putative penicillin-binding protein, is required for aerobic nitrogen fixation in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120.

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  • 1Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, 28049 Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

Transposon mutagenesis of Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 led to the isolation of a mutant strain, SNa1, which is unable to fix nitrogen aerobically but is perfectly able to grow with combined nitrogen (i. e., nitrate). Reconstruction of the transposon mutation of SNa1 in the wild-type strain reproduced the phenotype of the original mutant. The transposon had inserted within an open reading frame whose translation product shows significant homology with a family of proteins known as high-molecular-weight penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), which are involved in the synthesis of the peptidoglycan layer of the cell wall. A sequence similarity search allowed us to identify at least 12 putative PBPs in the recently sequenced Anabaena sp. strain PCC7120 genome, which we have named and organized according to predicted molecular size and the Escherichia coli nomenclature for PBPs; based on this nomenclature, we have denoted the gene interrupted in SNal as pbpB and its product as PBP2. The wild-type form of pbpB on a shuttle vector successfully complemented the mutation in SNa1. In vivo expression studies indicated that PBP2 is probably present when both sources of nitrogen, nitrate and N(2), are used. When nitrate is used, the function of PBP2 either is dispensable or may be substituted by other PBPs; however, under nitrogen deprivation, where the differentiation of the heterocyst takes place, the role of PBP2 in the formation and/or maintenance of the peptidoglycan layer is essential.

PMID:
11133957
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC94919
Free PMC Article

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