skip to main content


Title: Uptake and effect of rare earth elements on gene expression in Methylosinus trichosporium OB3b

It is well-known that M. trichosporium OB3b has two forms of methane monooxygenase responsible for the initial conversion of methane to methanol, a cytoplasmic (soluble) methane monooxygenase (sMMO) and a membrane-associated (particulate) methane monooxygenase (pMMO) and that copper strongly regulates expression of these alternative forms of MMO. More recently, it has been discovered that M. trichosporium OB3b has multiple types of the methanol dehydrogenase (MeDH), i.e. the Mxa-MeDH and Xox-MeDH, and the expression of these two forms is regulated by the availability of the rare earth element, cerium. Here we extend these studies and show that lanthanum, praseodymium, neodymium and samarium also regulate expression of alternative forms of MeDH. The effect of these rare earth elements on MeDH expression, however, was only observed in the absence of copper. Further, a mutant of M. trichosporium OB3b where the Mxa-MeDH was knocked out was able to grow in the presence of lanthanum, praseodymium and neodymium, but was not able to grow in the presence of samarium. In conclusion, collectively these data suggest that multiple levels of gene regulation by metals exist in M. trichosporium OB3b but that copper overrides the effect of other metals by an as yet unknown mechanism.
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2] ;  [1]
  1. Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States). Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering
  2. Iowa State Univ., Ames, IA (United States). Dept. of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Molecular Biology
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
FEMS Microbiology Letters (Online)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: FEMS Microbiology Letters (Online); Journal Volume: 363; Journal Issue: 13; Journal ID: ISSN 1574-6968
Research Org:
Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; methanotrophy; methanol dehydrogenase; methane monooxygenase; rare earth elements; copper
OSTI Identifier: