Recombinant expression using the tetrathionate hydrolase promoter in Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans

Tadayoshi Kanao, Tomoki Kunihisa, Shuji Ohgimoto, Megumi Ito, Chisa Murakami, Hisayuki Nakayama, Takashi Tamura, Kazuo Kamimura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


In the iron- and sulfur-oxidizing acidophilic chemolithoautotrophic bacterium, Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, tetrathionate hydrolase gene (Af-tth) is highly expressed during tetrathionate growth. The expression levels of Af-tth were specifically determined by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and the expression ratios of S0/Fe2+ and S4O62−/Fe2+ were found to be 68 ± 21 and 181 ± 5, respectively. The transcriptional start site was identified by primer extension. Promoter regions of Af-tth were cloned into the expression shuttle vector pMPJC and GFP gene was under the direction of the regions. Green fluorescence was observed by UV irradiation in recombinant A. ferrooxidans harboring the plasmid colonies grown on tetrathionate. Furthermore, His-tagged Af-Tth was synthesized in the recombinant cells grown on tetrathionate. Recombinant, His-tagged Af-Tth in an active form, was rapidly purified through metal-affinity column chromatography, although recombinant Af-Tth was synthesized in the inclusion bodies of Escherichia coli and acid-refolding treatment was necessary to recover the activity. The specific activity of purified Af-Tth from recombinant A. ferrooxidans (2.2 ± 0.37 U mg−1) was similar to that of acid-refolded Af-Tth from recombinant E. coli (2.5 ± 0.18 U mg−1). This method can be applied not only to heterologous expression but also to homologous expression of target genes for modification or specific mutation in A. ferrooxidans cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-181
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Bioscience and Bioengineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans
  • Acidophiles
  • Recombinant gene expression
  • Tetrathionate hydrolase promoter
  • Transcriptional regulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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