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Mol Microbiol. 1994 Dec;14(5):939-46.

Characterization of a gene responsible for the Na+/H+ antiporter system of alkalophilic Bacillus species strain C-125.

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Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN), Saitama, Japan.


An alkali-sensitive mutant, 38154, of the alkalophilic Bacillus sp. strain C-125 could not grow at an alkaline pH. The nucleotide sequence of a 3.7 kb parental DNA fragment that recovers the growth of 38154 at alkaline pH has four open reading frames (ORF1-4). By subcloning the fragment, we demonstrated that a 0.25 kb DNA region is responsible for the recovery. Direct sequencing of the mutant's corresponding region revealed a G to A substitution. The mutation resulted in an amino acid substitution from Gly-393 to Arg of the putative ORF1 product, which was deduced to be an 804-amino-acid polypeptide with a molecular weight of 89,070. The N-terminal part of the putative ORF1 product showed amino acid similarity to those of the chain-5 products of eukaryotic NADH quinone oxidoreductases. Membrane vesicles prepared from 38154 did not show membrane potential (delta psi)-driven Na+/H+ antiporter activity. Antiporter activity was resumed by introducing a parental DNA fragment which recovered the mutant's alkalophily. These results indicate that the mutation in 38154 affects, either directly or indirectly, the electrogenic Na+/H+ antiporter activity. This is the first report which shows that a gene responsible for the Na+/H+ antiporter system is important in the alkalophily of alkalophilic microorganisms.

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