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Sci Rep. 2019 Mar 12;9(1):4248. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-41043-1.

Contrasting in vitro and in vivo methanol oxidation activities of lanthanide-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases XoxF1 and ExaF from Methylobacterium extorquens AM1.

Author information

1
Martinez-Gomez laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA.
2
Martinez-Gomez laboratory, Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA. mart1754@msu.edu.

Abstract

Lanthanide (Ln) elements are utilized as cofactors for catalysis by XoxF-type methanol dehydrogenases (MDHs). A primary assumption is that XoxF enzymes produce formate from methanol oxidation, which could impact organisms that require formaldehyde for assimilation. We report genetic and phenotypic evidence showing that XoxF1 (MexAM1_1740) from Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 produces formaldehyde, and not formate, during growth with methanol. Enzyme purified with lanthanum or neodymium oxidizes formaldehyde. However, formaldehyde oxidation via 2,6-dichlorophenol-indophenol (DCPIP) reduction is not detected in cell-free extracts from wild-type strain methanol- and lanthanum-grown cultures. Formaldehyde activating enzyme (Fae) is required for Ln methylotrophic growth, demonstrating that XoxF1-mediated production of formaldehyde is essential. Addition of exogenous lanthanum increases growth rate with methanol by 9-12% but does not correlate with changes to methanol consumption or formaldehyde accumulation. Transcriptomics analysis of lanthanum methanol growth shows upregulation of xox1 and downregulation of mxa genes, consistent with the Ln-switch, no differential expression of formaldehyde conversion genes, downregulation of pyrroloquinoline quinone (PQQ) biosynthesis genes, and upregulation of fdh4 formate dehydrogenase (FDH) genes. Additionally, the Ln-dependent ethanol dehydrogenase ExaF reduces methanol sensitivity in the fae mutant strain when lanthanides are present, providing evidence for the capacity of an auxiliary role for ExaF during Ln-dependent methylotrophy.

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