DNA polymerase I is essential for growth of Methylobacterium dichloromethanicum DM4 with dichloromethane.


Methylobacterium dichloromethanicum DM4 grows with dichloromethane as ...
Methylobacterium dichloromethanicum DM4 grows with dichloromethane as the unique carbon and energy source by virtue of a single enzyme, dichloromethane dehalogenase-glutathione S-transferase. A mutant of the dichloromethane-degrading strain M. dichloromethanicum DM4, strain DM4-1445, was obtained by mini-Tn5 transposon mutagenesis that was no longer able to grow with dichloromethane. Dichloromethane dehalogenase activity in this mutant was comparable to that of the wild-type strain. The site of mini-Tn5 insertion in this mutant was located in the polA gene encoding DNA polymerase I, an enzyme with a well-known role in DNA repair. DNA polymerase activity was not detected in cell extracts of the polA mutant. Conjugation of a plasmid containing the intact DNA polymerase I gene into the polA mutant restored growth with dichloromethane, indicating that the polA gene defect was responsible for the observed lack of growth of this mutant with dichloromethane. Viability of the DM4-1445 mutant was strongly reduced upon exposure to both UV light and dichloromethane. The polA'-lacZ transcriptional fusion resulting from mini-Tn5 insertion was constitutively expressed at high levels and induced about twofold after addition of 10 mM dichloromethane. Taken together, these data indicate that DNA polymerase I is essential for growth of M. dichloromethanicum DM4 with dichloromethane and further suggest an important role of the DNA repair machinery in the degradation of halogenated, DNA-alkylating compounds by bacteria.




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