Regulation of uptake hydrogenase and effects of hydrogen utilization on gene expression in Rhodopseudomonas palustris

J Bacteriol. 2006 Sep;188(17):6143-52. doi: 10.1128/JB.00381-06.


Rhodopseudomonas palustris is a purple, facultatively phototrophic bacterium that uses hydrogen gas as an electron donor for carbon dioxide fixation during photoautotrophic growth or for ammonia synthesis during nitrogen fixation. It also uses hydrogen as an electron supplement to enable the complete assimilation of oxidized carbon compounds, such as malate, into cell material during photoheterotrophic growth. The R. palustris genome predicts a membrane-bound nickel-iron uptake hydrogenase and several regulatory proteins to control hydrogenase synthesis. There is also a novel sensor kinase gene (RPA0981) directly adjacent to the hydrogenase gene cluster. Here we show that the R. palustris regulatory sensor hydrogenase HupUV acts in conjunction with the sensor kinase-response regulator protein pair HoxJ-HoxA to activate hydrogenase expression in response to hydrogen gas. Transcriptome analysis indicated that the HupUV-HoxJA regulatory system also controls the expression of genes encoding a predicted dicarboxylic acid transport system, a putative formate transporter, and a glutamine synthetase. RPA0981 had a small effect in repressing hydrogenase synthesis. We also determined that the two-component system RegS-RegR repressed expression of the uptake hydrogenase, probably in response to changes in intracellular redox status. Transcriptome analysis indicated that about 30 genes were differentially expressed in R. palustris cells that utilized hydrogen when growing photoheterotrophically on malate under nitrogen-fixing conditions compared to a mutant strain that lacked uptake hydrogenase. From this it appears that the recycling of reductant in the form of hydrogen does not have extensive nonspecific effects on gene expression in R. palustris.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Culture Media
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Hydrogen / metabolism*
  • Hydrogenase / genetics
  • Hydrogenase / metabolism*
  • Malates
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multigene Family
  • Nitrogen Fixation
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism
  • Repressor Proteins / metabolism
  • Rhodopseudomonas / genetics*
  • Rhodopseudomonas / growth & development
  • Rhodopseudomonas / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Culture Media
  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Malates
  • Repressor Proteins
  • HoxA protein
  • Hydrogen
  • malic acid
  • Hydrogenase
  • Protein Kinases
  • HoxJ protein, bacteria

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE4320