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Mol Microbiol. 2012 May;84(4):766-77. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08057.x. Epub 2012 Apr 23.

Manganese is required for oxidative metabolism in unstressed Bradyrhizobium japonicum cells.

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Department of Biochemistry, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14214, USA.


Recent studies of Mn(2+) transport mutants indicate that manganese is essential for unstressed growth in some bacterial species, but is required primarily for induced stress responses in others. A Bradyrhizobium japonicum mutant defective in the high-affinity Mn(2+) transporter gene mntH has a severe growth phenotype under manganese limitation, suggesting a requirement for the metal under unstressed growth. Here, we found that activities of superoxide dismutase and the glycolytic enzyme pyruvate kinase were deficient in an mntH strain grown under manganese limitation. We identified pykM as the only pyruvate kinase-encoding gene based on deficiency in activity of a pykM mutant, rescue of the growth phenotype with pyruvate, and pyruvate kinase activity of purified recombinant PykM. PykM is unusual in that it required Mn(2+) rather than Mg(2+) for high activity, and that neither fructose-1,6-bisphosphate nor AMP was a positive allosteric effector. The mntH-dependent superoxide dismutase is encoded by sodM, the only expressed superoxide dismutase-encoding gene under unstressed growth conditions. An mntH mutant grew more slowly on pyruvate under manganese-limited conditions than did a pykM sodM double mutant, implying additional manganese-dependent processes. The findings implicate roles for manganese in key steps in unstressed oxidative metabolism in B. japonicum.

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