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Title: Biomineralization of Uranium by PhoY Phosphatase Activity Aids Cell Survival in Caulobacter crescentus

Caulobacter crescentus is known to tolerate high levels of uranium [U(VI)], but its detoxification mechanism is poorly understood. Here we show that C. crescentus is able to facilitate U(VI) biomineralization through the formation of U-Pi precipitates via its native alkaline phosphatase activity. The U-Pi precipitates, deposited on the cell surface in the form of meta-autunite structures, have a lower U/Pi ratio than do chemically produced precipitates. The enzyme that is responsible for the phosphatase activity and thus the biomineralization process is identified as PhoY, a periplasmic alkaline phosphatase with broad substrate specificity. Furthermore, PhoY is shown to confer a survival advantage on C. crescentus toward U(VI) under both growth and nongrowth conditions. Results obtained in this study thus highlight U(VI) biomineralization as a resistance mechanism in microbes, which not only improves our understanding of bacterium-mineral interactions but also aids in defining potential ecological niches for metal-resistant bacteria.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1136139
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC52-07NA27344
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Applied and Environmental Microbiology; Journal Volume: 80; Journal Issue: 16
Publisher:
American Society for Microbiology
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Livermore, CA
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
59 BASIC BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES