Cloning, sequence analysis, and hyperexpression of the genes encoding phosphotransacetylase and acetate kinase from Methanosarcina thermophila

M. T. Latimer, J. G. Ferry

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The genes for the acetate-activating enzymes, acetate kinase and phosphotransacetylase (ack and pta), from Methanosarcina thermophila TM-1 were cloned and sequenced. Both genes are present in only one copy per genome, with the pta gene adjacent to and upstream of the ack gene. Consensus archaeal promoter sequences are found upstream of the pta coding region. The pta and ack genes encode predicted polypeptides with molecular masses of 35,198 and 44,482 Da, respectively. A hydropathy plot of the deduced phosphotransacetylase sequence indicates that it is a hydrophobic polypeptide; however, no membrane-spanning domains are evident. Comparison of the amino acid sequences deduced from the M. thermophila and Escherichia coli ack genes indicate similar subunit molecular weights and 44% identity (60% similarity). The comparison also revealed the presence of several conserved arginine, cysteine, and glutamic acid residues. Arginine, cysteine, and glutamic acid residues have previously been implicated at or near the active site of the E. coli acetate kinase. The pta and ack genes were hyperexpressed in E. coli, and the overproduced enzymes were purified to homogeneity with specific activities higher than those of the enzymes previously purified from M. thermophila. The overproduced phosphotransacetylase and acetate kinase migrated at molecular masses of 37,000 and 42,000 Da, respectively. The activity of the acetate kinase is optimal at 65°C and is protected from thermal inactivation by ATP. Diethylpyrocarbonate and phenylglyoxal inhibited acetate kinase activity in a manner consistent with the presence of histidine and arginine residues at or near the active site; however, the thiol-directed reagents 5,5'-dithiobis(2-nitrobenzoic acid) and N-ethylmaleimide were ineffective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6822-6829
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number21
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1993


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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