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Novel mechanisms of selenate and selenite reduction in the obligate aerobic bacterium Comamonas testosteroni S44

Yuanqing Tan, Yuantao Wang, Yu Wang, Ding Xu, Yeting Huang, Dan Wang, Gejiao Wang, Christopher Rensing, Shixue Zheng,*

Abstract: Selenium oxyanion reduction is an effective detoxification or/and assimilation processes in organisms, but little is known the mechanisms in aerobic bacteria. Aerobic Comamonas testosteroni S44 reduces Se(VI)/Se(IV) to less toxic elemental selenium nanoparticles (SeNPs). For Se(VI) reduction, sulfate and Se(VI) reduction displayed a competitive relationship. When essential sulfate reducing genes were respectively disrupted, Se(VI) was not reduced to red-colored SeNPs. Consequently, Se(VI) reduction was catalyzed by enzymes of the sulfate reducing pathway. For Se(IV) reduction, one of the potential periplasm molybdenum oxidoreductase named SerT was screened and further used to analyze Se(IV) reduction. Compared to the wild type and the complemented mutant strain, the ability of Se(IV) reduction was reduced 75% in the deletion mutant ΔserT. Moreover, the Se(IV) reduction rate was significantly enhanced when the gene serT was overexpressed in Escherichia coli W3110. In addition, Se(IV) was reduced to SeNPs by the purified SerT with the presence of NADPH as the electron donor in vitro, showing a Vmax of 61 nmol/min•mg and a Km of 180 μmol/L. A model of Se(VI)/Se(IV) reduction was generated in aerobic C. testosteroni S44. This work provides new insights into the molecular mechanisms of Se(VI)/Se(IV) reduction activities in aerobic bacteria.



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