Arsenate detoxification in aPseudomonadhypertolerant to arsenic

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Abstract

Pseudomonas sp. strain As-1, obtained from an electroplating industrial effluent, was capable of growing aerobically in growth medium supplemented with up to 65 mM arsenate (As (V)), significantly higher concentrations than those tolerated by other reference arsenic resistant bacteria. The majority of the arsenic was detected in culture supernatants as arsenite (As (III)) and X-ray absorbance spectroscopy suggested that 30% of this cell-bound arsenic was As (V), 65% As (III) and 5% of arsenic was associated with sulphur. PCR analysis using primers designed against arsenic resistance genes of other Gram-negative bacteria confirmed the presence of an arsenic resistance operon comprising of three genes, arsR, arsB and arsC in order of predicted transcription, and consistent with a role in intracellular reduction of As (V) and efflux of As (III). In addition to this classical arsenic resistance mechanism, other biochemical responses to arsenic were implicated. Novel arsenic-binding proteins were purified from cellular fractions, while proteomic analysis of arsenic-induced cultures identified the upregulation of additional proteins not normally associated with the metabolism of arsenic. Cross-talk with a network of proteins involved in phosphate metabolism was suggested by these studies, consistent with the similarity between the phosphate and arsenate anions.

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