Eurythermalism of a deep-sea symbiosis system from an enzymological aspect
Lee, C. K.-W. (2007). Eurythermalism of a deep-sea symbiosis system from an enzymological aspect (Thesis, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2588
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/2588
The recently proposed and experimentally validated Equilibrium Model provides the most detailed description of temperature's effect on enzyme catalytic activity to date. By introducing an equilibrium between Eact, the active form of enzyme, and Einact, a reversibly inactivated form of enzyme, the Equilibrium Model explains apparent enzyme activity loss at high temperatures that cannot be accounted for by irreversible thermal denaturation. The Equilibrium Model describes enzyme behavior in the presence of substrates and under assay conditions; thus its associated parameters, deltaHeq and Teq, may have physiological significance.The Equilibrium Model parameters have been determined for twenty-one enzymes of diverse origins. The results demonstrated the wide applicability of the Equilibrium Model to enzymes of different types and temperature affinity. The study has also established deltaHeq as the first quantitative measure of enzyme eurythermalism and demonstrated the relationship between Teq and optimal growth temperature of organisms. The Equilibrium Model is therefore a useful tool for studying enzyme temperature adaptation and its role in adaptations to thermophily and eurythermalism. Moreover, it potentially enables a description of the originating environment from the properties of the enzymes.The Equilibrium Model has been employed to characterize enzymes isolated from bacterial episymbionts of Alvinella pompejana. A. pompejana inhabits one of the most extreme environments known to science and has been proposed as an extremely eurythermal organism. A metagenomic study of the A. pompejana episymbionts has unveiled new information related to the adaptive and metabolic properties of the bacterial consortium; the availability of metagenomic sequences has also enabled targeted retrieval and heterologous expression of A. pompejana episymbiont genes. By inspecting enzymes derived from the unique episymbiotic microbial consortium intimately associated with A. pompejana, the study has shed light on temperature adaptations in this unique symbiotic relationship. The findings suggested that eurythermal enzymes are one of the mechanisms used by the microbial consortium to achieve its adaptations.By combining metagenomic and enzymological studies, the research described in this thesis has lead to insights on the eurythermalism of a complex microbial system from an enzymological aspect. The findings have enhanced our knowledge on how life adapts to extreme environments, and the validation of the Equilibrium Model as a tool for studying enzyme temperature adaptation paves the way for future studies.
The University of Waikato
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