Isolation and characterization of a gene encoding a S-adenosyl-l-methionine-dependent halide/thiol methyltransferase (HTMT) from the marine diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum: Biogenic mechanism of CH(3)I emissions in oceans.

PMID 21227473


Several marine algae including diatoms exhibit S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAM) halide/thiol methyltransferase (HTMT) activity, which is involved in the emission of methyl halides. In this study, the in vivo biogenic emission of methyl iodide from the diatom Phaeodactylum tricornutum was found to be clearly correlated with iodide concentration in the incubation media. The gene encoding HTMT (Pthtmt) was isolated from P. tricornutum CCAP 1055/1, and expressed in Escherichia coli. The molecular weight of the enzyme was 29.7kDa including a histidine tag, and the optimal pH was around pH 7.0. The kinetic properties of recombinant PtHTMT towards Cl(-), Br(-), I(-), [SH](-), [SCN](-), and SAM were 637.88mM, 72.83mM, 8.60mM, 9.92mM, 7.9mM, and 0.016mM, respectively, and were similar to those of higher-plant HTMTs, except that the activity towards thiocyanate was lower. The biogenic emission of methyl halides from the cultured cells and the enzymatic properties of HTMT suggest that the HMT/HTMT reaction is key to understanding the biogenesis of methyl halides in oceanic environments as well as terrestrial ones.