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Functional characterization of the trigger factor protein PceT of tetrachloroethene-dechlorinating Desulfitobacterium hafniense Y51

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Desulfitobacterium hafniense strain Y51 dechlorinates tetrachloroethene to cis-1,2-dichloroethene (cis-DCE) via trichloroethene by the action of the PceA reductive dehalogenase encoded by pceA. The pceA gene constitutes a gene cluster with pceB, pceC, and pceT. However, the gene components, except for pceA, still remained to be characterized. In the present study, we characterized the function of PceT. PceT of strain Y51 showed a sequence homology with trigger factor proteins, although it is evolutionally distant from the well-characterized trigger factor protein of Escherichia coli. The PceT protein tagged with 6x histidine was expressed as a soluble form in E. coli. The recombinant PceT fusion protein exhibited peptidyl-proryl cistrans isomerase activity toward the chromogenic peptide N-succinyl-Ala-Ala-Pro-Phe-p-nitroanilide. The PceT fusion protein also exhibited chaperon activity towards the chemically denatured citrate synthase. Immunoprecipitation analysis using antibodies raised against PceA and PceT demonstrated that PceT specifically binds to the precursor form of PceA with an N-terminal twin-arginine translocation (TAT) signal sequence. On the other hand, PceT failed to bind the mature form of PceA that lost the TAT signal sequence. This is the first report in dehalorespiring bacteria, indicating that PceT is responsible for the correct folding of the precursor PceA.

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We thank Drs. Shinya Sugimoto, Fuminori Yoneyama, and Kenji Sonomoto for light-scattering analysis. This work was supported in part by a Grant-in-aid (Hazardous Chemicals) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan (HC-04-2321-1).

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Correspondence to Kensuke Furukawa.

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Morita, Y., Futagami, T., Goto, M. et al. Functional characterization of the trigger factor protein PceT of tetrachloroethene-dechlorinating Desulfitobacterium hafniense Y51. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 83, 775–781 (2009).

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  • Desulfitobacterium hafniense
  • Dehalorespiring bacteria
  • Tetrachloroethene
  • PCE genes
  • Chaperon
  • Trigger factor