Biochemistry, Department of


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Salvi, A.M.; Chowdhury, N.B.; Saha, R.; Buan, N.R. Supplementation of Sulfide or Acetate and 2-Mercaptoethane Sulfonate Restores Growth of the Methanosarcina acetivorans DhdrABC Deletion Mutant during Methylotrophic Methanogenesis. Microorganisms 2023, 11, 327. microorganisms11020327


Open access.


Methanogenic archaea are important organisms in the global carbon cycle that grow by producing methane gas. Methanosarcina acetivorans is a methanogenic archaeum that can grow using methylated compounds, carbon monoxide, or acetate and produces renewable methane as a byproduct. However, there is limited knowledge of how combinations of substrates may affect metabolic fluxes in methanogens. Previous studies have shown that heterodisulfide reductase, the terminal oxidase in the electron transport system, is an essential enzyme in all methanogens. Deletion of genes encoding the nonessential methylotrophic heterodisulfide reductase enzyme (HdrABC) results in slower growth rate but increased metabolic efficiency. We hypothesized that increased sulfide, supplementation of mercaptoethanesulfonate (coenzyme M, CoM-SH), or acetate would metabolically alleviate the effect of the ΔhdrABC mutation. Increased sulfide improved growth of the mutant as expected; however, supplementation of both CoM-SH and acetate together were necessary to reduce the effect of the ΔhdrABC mutation. Supplementation of CoM-SH or acetate alone did not improve growth. These results support our model for the role of HdrABC in methanogenesis and suggest M.acetivorans is more efficient at conserving energy when supplemented with acetate. Our study suggests decreased Hdr enzyme activity can be overcome by nutritional supplementation with sulfide or coenzyme M and acetate, which are abundant in anaerobic environments.