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Industrial biomining processes to extract copper, gold and other metals involve the use of extremophiles such as the acidophilic Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans (Bacteria), and the thermoacidophilic Sulfolobus metallicus (Archaea). Together with other extremophiles these microorganisms subsist in habitats where they are exposed to copper concentrations(More)
The complete nucleotide sequence of the Escherichia coli nik locus, which has been suggested to encode the specific transport system for nickel, has been determined. It was found to contain five overlapping open reading frames that form a single transcription unit. Deduced amino acid sequence of the nik operon shows that its five gene products, NikA to(More)
The acidophilic Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans can resist exceptionally high copper (Cu) concentrations. This property is important for its use in biomining processes, where Cu and other metal levels range usually between 15 and 100 mM. To learn about the mechanisms that allow A. ferrooxidans cells to survive in this environment, a bioinformatic search of(More)
Microbial solubilizing of metals in acid environments is successfully used in industrial bioleaching of ores or biomining to extract metals such as copper, gold, uranium and others. This is done mainly by acidophilic and other microorganisms that mobilize metals and generate acid mine drainage or AMD, causing serious environmental problems. However,(More)
The response of Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans ATCC 23270 to copper was analyzed in sulfur-grown cells by using quantitative proteomics. Forty-seven proteins showed altered levels in cells grown in the presence of 50 mM copper sulfate. Of these proteins, 24 were up-regulated and 23 down-regulated. As seen before in ferrous iron-grown cells, there was a(More)
The nik operon of Escherichia coli encodes a periplasmic binding-protein-dependent transport system specific for nickel. In this report, we describe the overproduction of the periplasmic nickel-binding protein NikA by cloning the nikA gene into an overexpression vector, pRE1. NikA was purified free of nickel to near homogeneity from the periplasm by(More)
Many extremophilic microorganisms are polyextremophiles, being confronted with more than one stress condition. For instance, some thermoacidophilic microorganisms are in addition capable to resist very high metal concentrations. Most likely, they have developed special adaptations to thrive in their living environments. Inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) is a(More)
We have cloned the multigenic hydC locus of Escherichia coli on a 7.1-kb BamHI-EcoRI fragment. Since its gene products are likely to be involved in the specific nickel transport [Wu et al., Mol. Microbiol. 3 (1989) 1709-1718], we propose a new gene designation, nik, to replace hydC. In vivo gene expression studies and complementation analysis support the(More)
A number of xylanolytic microorganisms secrete to the medium several molecular forms of endoxylanases. The physiological function of these isoforms is not clear; one possibility is that they are produced under different growth conditions. To study this problem, we have used two endoxylanases (XynA and XynB) produced by the fungus Penicillium purpurogenum.(More)
The facultative anaerobic enterobacterium Escherichia coli requires the activity of nickel-containing hydrogenase for its anaerobic growth. Deficiency of the specific nickel transport system led to a hydrogenase-minus phenotype and slowed down the fermentative growth in the nik mutant. Addition of 300 microM nickel to the growth medium could restore the(More)