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Microbiology. 2011 Oct;157(Pt 10):2795-807. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.051508-0. Epub 2011 Jul 7.

Interaction between poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) granule-associated proteins as revealed by two-hybrid analysis and identification of a new phasin in Ralstonia eutropha H16.

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Institut für Mikrobiologie, Universität Stuttgart, Stuttgart, Germany.


A large number of polypeptides are attached to poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) granules of Ralstonia eutropha, such as PHB synthase (PhaC1), several PHB depolymerases (PhaZs) and phasins (PhaPs), the regulator protein PhaR(Reu), and possibly others. In this study we used the bacterial adenylate cyclase-based two-hybrid assay to investigate interactions between known PHB granule-associated proteins (PGAPs) and to screen for new PGAPs. The utility of the system was tested by the in vivo verification of previously postulated interactions of the PHB synthase subunits of R. eutropha (PhaC1 homo-oligomerization) and of Bacillus megaterium (PhaC(Bmeg)-PhaR(Bmeg) hetero-oligomerization). Nine proteins (PhaA, PhaB1, PhaC1, PhaP1-PhaP4, PhaZ1 and PhaR), with established functions in PHB metabolism of R. eutropha, were tested for interaction in all combinations. While no significant interaction was detected between the PHB synthase PhaC1 and any of the other eight tested Pha proteins, strong interactions were found between all phasin proteins, in particular between PhaP2 and PhaP4. When PhaP2 was used as bait in a two-hybrid screening experiment with a genomic library of R. eutropha, the B1934 gene product was identified in 24 out of 53 isolated clones. B1934 encodes a hypothetical protein (15.7 kDa) with similarity to phasins of PHB-accumulating bacteria. A fusion protein of eYfp and the B1934 gene product colocalized with PHB granules, confirming that B1934 represents a new phasin (PhaP5). PhaP5 was not essential for PHB granule formation, but overexpression of PhaP5 increased the number of cells with PHB granules at the cell poles.

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