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The extremely halophilic archaeon Halobacterium salinarum R1 responds to potassium limitation by expression of the K+-transporting KdpFABC P-type ATPase and by a decrease in intracellular K+

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Henrik Strahl von SchultenORCiD


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Halobacterium species balance high external osmolality by the accumulation of almost equimolar amounts of KCl. Thus, steady K+ supply is a vital prerequisite for life of these extreme halophiles. So far, K+ is reported to enter the halobacterial cell only passively by use of potential-driven uniporters. However, the genome of both the extreme halophilic archaeon Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and H. salinarum R1 comprises one single gene cluster containing the genes kdpFABC coding for homologs of the bacterial ATP-driven K+ uptake system KdpFABC, together with an additional ORF so far annotated as cat3 in Halobacterium sp. NRC-1 and as UspA protein in H. salinarum R1 (the ORF is only referred to as cat3 in the following). Deletion of the kdpFABCcat3 genes led to a reduced ability to grow under limiting K+ concentrations, whereas real-time RT-PCR measurements revealed cat3-dependent high expression rates of the Kdp system in case of external K+ depletion. Synthesis of the KdpFABC complex enables H. salinarum R1 to grow under extreme potassium-limiting conditions of >20 μM K+. These results provide the first experimental evidence of an ATP-driven K+ uptake system in Halobacterium. Moreover, H. salinarum R1 was shown to further adapt to K+ limitation by a significant decrease of the intracellular K+ level, which suggests a rather complex mechanism of K+ homeostasis, in which the adaptation of cellular K+ concentrations and the concomitant transcriptional regulation of genes coding for a high-affinity ATP-driven K+ uptake system ensure the essential potassium supply under limiting conditions. © 2008 Springer.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Strahl H, Greie J-C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Extremophiles

Year: 2008

Volume: 12

Issue: 6

Pages: 741-752

ISSN (print): 1431-0651

ISSN (electronic): 1433-4909

Publisher: Springer Japan


DOI: 10.1007/s00792-008-0177-3


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