Mechanisms of Chromium and Uranium Toxicity in Pseudomonas stutzeri RCH2 Grown under Anaerobic Nitrate-Reducing Conditions
Better understanding of uranyl toxicity in bacteria is necessary to optimize strains for bioremediation purposes or for using bacteria as biodetectors for bioavailable uranyl. In this study, after different steps of optimization, Escherichia coli cells were exposed to uranyl at low pH to minimize uranyl precipitation and to increase its bioavailability. Bacteria were adapted to mid acidic pH before exposure to 50 or 80 µM uranyl acetate for two hours at pH≈3. To evaluate the impact of uranium, growth in these conditions were compared and the same rates of cells survival were observed in control and uranyl exposed cultures. Additionally, this impact was analyzed by two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis proteomics to discover protein actors specifically present or accumulated in contact with uranium.Exposure to uranium resulted in differential accumulation of proteins associated with oxidative stress and in the accumulation of the NADH/quinone oxidoreductase WrbA. This FMN dependent protein performs obligate two-electron reduction of quinones, and may be involved in cells response to oxidative stress. Interestingly, this WrbA protein presents similarities with the chromate reductase from E. coli, which was shown to reduce uranyl in vitro.