Send to

Choose Destination
Microbiology. 2000 Dec;146 Pt 12:3099-107.

Prochlorococcus marinus strain PCC 9511, a picoplanktonic cyanobacterium, synthesizes the smallest urease.

Author information

Unité de Physiologie Microbienne, Département de Biochimie et Génétique Moléculaire, Institut Pasteur (CNRS, URA 1129), 28 rue du Docteur Roux, 75724 Paris, France.


The urease from the picoplanktonic oceanic Prochlorococcus marinus sp. strain PCC 9511 was purified 900-fold to a specific activity of 94.6 micromol urea min(-1) (mg protein)(-1) by heat treatment and liquid chromatography methods. The enzyme, with a molecular mass of 168 kDa as determined by gel filtration, is the smallest urease known to date. Three different subunits with apparent molecular masses of 11 kDa (gamma or UreA; predicted molecular mass 11 kDa), 13 kDa (ss or UreB; predicted molecular mass 12 kDa) and 63 kDa (alpha or UreC; predicted molecular mass 62 kDa) were detected in the native enzyme, suggesting a quaternary structure of (alphassgamma)(2). The K:(m) of the purified enzyme was determined as being 0.23 mM urea. The urease activity was inhibited by HgCl(2), acetohydroxamic acid and EDTA but neither by boric acid nor by L-methionine-DL-sulfoximine. Degenerate primers were designed to amplify a conserved region of the ureC gene. The amplification product was then used as a probe to clone a 5.7 kbp fragment of the P. marinus sp. strain PCC 9511 genome. The nucleotide sequence of this DNA fragment revealed two divergently orientated gene clusters, ureDABC and ureEFG, encoding the urease subunits, UreA, UreB and UreC, and the urease accessory molecules UreD, UreE, UreF and UreG. A putative NtcA-binding site was found upstream from ureEFG, indicating that this gene cluster might be under nitrogen control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center