Monossigenasi coinvolte nel metabolismo di n-alcani in Rhodococcus sp. BCP1: caratterizzazione molecolare e espressione del gene alkB

Cappelletti, Martina (2010) Monossigenasi coinvolte nel metabolismo di n-alcani in Rhodococcus sp. BCP1: caratterizzazione molecolare e espressione del gene alkB, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Biologia cellulare, molecolare e industriale/cellular, molecular and industrial biology: progetto n. 2 Biologia funzionale dei sistemi cellulari e molecolari, 22 Ciclo. DOI 10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/2971.
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Bioremediation implies the use of living organisms, primarily microorganisms, to convert environmental contaminants into less toxic forms. The impact of the consequences of hydrocarbon release in the environment maintain a high research interest in the study of microbial metabolisms associated with the biodegradation of aromatic and aliphatic hydrocarbons but also in the analysis of microbial enzymes that can convert petroleum substrates to value-added products. The studies described in this Thesis fall within the research field that directs the efforts into identifying gene/proteins involved in the catabolism of n-alkanes and into studying the regulatory mechanisms leading to their oxidation. In particular the studies were aimed at investigating the molecular aspects of the ability of Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 to grow on aliphatic hydrocarbons as sole carbon and energy sources. We studied the ability of Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 to grow on gaseous (C2-C4), liquid (C5-C16) and solid (C17-C28) n-alkanes that resulted to be biochemically correlated with the activity of one or more monooxygenases. In order to identify the alkane monooxygenase that is involved in the n-alkanes degradation pathway in Rhodococcus sp. BCP1, PCR-based methodology was applied by using degenerate primers targeting AlkB monooxygenase family members. As result, a chromosomal region, including the alkB gene cluster, was cloned from Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 genome. We characterized the products of this alkB gene cluster and the products of the orfs included in the flanking regions by comparative analysis with the homologues in the database. alkB gene expression studies were carried out by RT-PCR and by the construction of a promoter probe vector containing the lacZ gene downstream of the alkB promoter. B-galactosidase assays revealed the alkB promoter activity induced by n-alkanes and by n-alkanes metabolic products. Furthermore, the transcriptional start of alkB gene was determined by primer extension procedure. A proteomic approach was subsequently applied to compare the protein patterns expressed by BCP1 growing on n-butane, n-hexane, n-hexadecane or n-eicosane with the protein pattern expressed by BCP1 growing on succinate. The accumulation of enzymes specifically induced on n-alkanes was determined. These enzymes were identified by tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS). Finally, a prm gene, homologue to the gene family coding for soluble di-iron monooxygenases (SDIMOs), has been isolated from Rhodococcus sp. BCP1 genome. This gene product could be involved in the degradation of gaseous n-alkanes in this Rhodococcus strain. The versatility in utilizing hydrocarbons and the discovery of new remarkable metabolic activities outline the potential applications of this microorganism in environmental and industrial biotechnologies.

Tipologia del documento
Tesi di dottorato
Cappelletti, Martina
Dottorato di ricerca
Scuola di dottorato
Scienze biologiche, biomediche e biotecnologiche
Settore disciplinare
Settore concorsuale
Parole chiave
alkane 1-monooxygenase (AlkB), n-alkanes, Rhodococcus
Data di discussione
23 Aprile 2010

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