Journal of bacteriology

Importance and determinants of induction of cold-induced DEAD RNA helicase in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis.

PMID 23729644


Thermococcus kodakarensis, which grows optimally at 85°C, expresses cold stress-inducible DEAD box RNA helicase (Tk-deaD) when shifted to 60°C. A DDA1 deletion (ΔTk-deaD) mutant exhibited decreased cell growth, and cells underwent lysis at 60°C in nutrient broth in the absence of elemental sulfur. In contrast, cells in medium containing elemental sulfur at 60°C did not undergo lysis, suggesting that Tk-deaD is necessary for cell growth in sulfur-free medium. To identify the element responsible for the cold response, a pTKR expression probe plasmid was constructed using thermostable catalase from Pyrobaculum calidifontis as a reporter. The plasmid pTKRD, which contained the transcription factor B recognition element, TATA region, and Shine-Dalgarno (SD) region, including the initiation codon of the Tk-deaD gene, exhibited cold inducibility. We also constructed a series of deletion and chimeric constructs with the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) promoter, whose expression is constitutive independent of culture temperatures and catalase expression. Reporter assay experiments indicated that the regulatory element is located in the region between the SD region and the initiation codon (ATG). Nucleotide sequences in the upstream regions of Tk-deaD and gdh were compared and revealed a five-adenosine (AAAAA) sequence between SD and ATG of Tk-deaD that was not present in gdh. Replacement of the repeated adenosine sequence with other sequences revealed that the AAAAA sequence is important for cold induction. This sequence-specific mechanism is unique and is one that has not been identified in other known cold-inducible genes.