The reduction of arsenate [As(V)] to arsenite [As(III)] by dissimilatory As(V)-reducing bacteria, such as Geobacter spp., may play a significant role in arsenic release from anaerobic sediments into groundwater. The biochemical and molecular mechanisms by which these bacteria cope with this toxic element remain unclear. In this study, the expression of several genes involved in arsenic respiration (arr) and resistance (ars) was determined using Geobacter sp. strain OR-1, the only cultured Geobacter strain capable of As(V) respiration. In addition, proteins expressed differentially under As(V)-respiring conditions were identified by semiquantitative proteomic analysis. Dissimilatory As(V) reductase (Arr) of strain OR-1 was localized predominantly in the periplasmic space, and the transcription of its gene (arrA) was upregulated under As(V)-respiring conditions. The transcription of the detoxifying As(V) reductase gene (arsC) was also upregulated, but its induction required 500 times higher concentration of As(III) (500μM) than did the arrA gene. Comparative proteomic analysis revealed that in addition to the Arr and Ars proteins, proteins involved in the following processes were upregulated under As(V)-respiring conditions: (i) protein folding and assembly for rescue of proteins with oxidative damage, (ii) DNA replication and repair for restoration of DNA breaks, (iii) anaplerosis and gluconeogenesis for sustainable energy production and biomass formation, and (iv) protein and nucleotide synthesis for the replacement of damaged proteins and nucleotides. These results suggest that strain OR-1 copes with arsenic stress by orchestrating pleiotropic processes that enable this bacterium to resist and actively metabolize arsenic.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology