Biochemical evidence suggests that methanol catabolism in Methanosarcina species requires the concerted effort of methanol:5- hydroxybenzimidazolylcobamide methyltransferase (MtaB), a corrinoid-containing methyl-accepting protein (MtaC) and Co-methyl-5-hydroxybenzimidazolylcobamide:2- mercapto-ethanesulphonic acid methyltransferase (MtaA). Here we show that Methanosarcina acetivorans possesses three operons encoding putative methanol-specific MtaB and corrinoid proteins: mtaCB1, mtaCB2 and mtaCB3. Deletion mutants lacking the three operons, in all possible combinations, were constructed and characterized. Strains deleted for any two of the operons grew on methanol, whereas strains lacking all three did not. Therefore, each operon encodes a bona fide methanol-utilizing MtaB/corrinoid protein pair. Most of the mutants were similar to the wild-type strain, with the exception of the ΔmtaCB1 ΔmtaCB2 double mutant, which grew more slowly and had reduced cell yields on methanol medium. However, all mutants displayed significantly longer lag times when switching from growth on trimethylamine to growth on methanol. This indicates that all three operons are required for wild-type growth on methanol and suggests that each operon has a distinct role in the metabolism of this substrate. The combined methanol:CoM methyltransferase activity of strains carrying only mtaCB1 was twofold higher than strains carrying only mtaCB2 and fourfold higher than strains carrying only mtaCB3. Interestingly, the presence of the mtaCB2 and mtaCB3 operons, in addition to the mtaCB1 operon, did not increase the overall methyltransferase activity, suggesting that these strains may be limited by MtaA availability. All deletion mutants were unaffected with respect to growth on trimethylamine and acetate corroborating biochemical evidence indicating that each methanogenic substrate has specific methyltransfer enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology