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A bioassay for the detection of benzimidazoles reveals their presence in a range of environmental samples.

Crofts TS, Men Y, Alvarez-Cohen L, Taga ME - Front Microbiol (2014)

Bottom Line: Of the three classes of lower ligands, the benzimidazoles are uniquely found in cobamides, whereas the purine and phenolic bases have additional biological functions.The concentrations of individual benzimidazoles in these samples were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.Several benzimidazoles were detected in subpicomolar to subnanomolar concentrations in host-associated and environmental samples.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Cobamides are a family of enzyme cofactors that include vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and are produced solely by prokaryotes. Structural variability in the lower axial ligand has been observed in cobamides produced by diverse organisms. Of the three classes of lower ligands, the benzimidazoles are uniquely found in cobamides, whereas the purine and phenolic bases have additional biological functions. Many organisms acquire cobamides by salvaging and remodeling cobamides or their precursors from the environment. These processes require free benzimidazoles for incorporation as lower ligands, though the presence of benzimidazoles in the environment has not been previously investigated. Here, we report a new purification method and bioassay to measure the total free benzimidazole content of samples from microbial communities and laboratory media components. The bioassay relies on the "calcofluor-bright" phenotype of a bluB mutant of the model cobalamin-producing bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti. The concentrations of individual benzimidazoles in these samples were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Several benzimidazoles were detected in subpicomolar to subnanomolar concentrations in host-associated and environmental samples. In addition, benzimidazoles were found to be common contaminants of laboratory media components. These results suggest that benzimidazoles present in the environment and in laboratory media have the potential to influence microbial metabolic activities.

No MeSH data available.


Structure of cobalamin and benzimidazole lower ligands. (A) Structure of cobalamin. The lower ligand, 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB) is boxed. (B) Structures of lower ligands used in this study. 5-methylbenzimidazole (5-MeBza), 5-methoxybenzimidazole (5-OMeBza), 5-hydroxybenzimidazole (5-OHBza), and benzimidazole (Bza).
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Figure 1: Structure of cobalamin and benzimidazole lower ligands. (A) Structure of cobalamin. The lower ligand, 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB) is boxed. (B) Structures of lower ligands used in this study. 5-methylbenzimidazole (5-MeBza), 5-methoxybenzimidazole (5-OMeBza), 5-hydroxybenzimidazole (5-OHBza), and benzimidazole (Bza).

Mentions: Cobamides are cofactors that function in a variety of metabolic processes in animals, protists, and prokaryotes. Cobamides belong to a broader class of molecules called corrinoids that share a common cobalt-containing corrin ring. Cobamides are corrinoids that contain a lower axial ligand covalently bound to the corrin ring via the nucleotide loop (Roth et al., 1996; Escalante-Semerena, 2007). The essential nutrient cobalamin (Figure 1A, known as vitamin B12 when taken in its cyanated form as a supplement) is the best studied cobamide and is well known for its importance in human health. Cobalamin and other cobamides also function as cofactors for several ecologically important processes in prokaryotes. For example, cobamides are used as cofactors for methanogenesis, acetogenesis, carbon fixation, the formation of toxic methyl mercury, and the detoxification of chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethene (TCE; Choi et al., 1994; Banerjee and Ragsdale, 2003; He et al., 2007; Ragsdale and Pierce, 2008). Cobamides are found in host-associated and environmental microbial communities including the human intestine, bovine rumen, wood-feeding insects, and TCE-dechlorinating communities (Kräutler et al., 2003; Allen and Stabler, 2008; Girard et al., 2009; Yi et al., 2012).


A bioassay for the detection of benzimidazoles reveals their presence in a range of environmental samples.

Crofts TS, Men Y, Alvarez-Cohen L, Taga ME - Front Microbiol (2014)

Structure of cobalamin and benzimidazole lower ligands. (A) Structure of cobalamin. The lower ligand, 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB) is boxed. (B) Structures of lower ligands used in this study. 5-methylbenzimidazole (5-MeBza), 5-methoxybenzimidazole (5-OMeBza), 5-hydroxybenzimidazole (5-OHBza), and benzimidazole (Bza).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230183&req=5

Figure 1: Structure of cobalamin and benzimidazole lower ligands. (A) Structure of cobalamin. The lower ligand, 5,6-dimethylbenzimidazole (DMB) is boxed. (B) Structures of lower ligands used in this study. 5-methylbenzimidazole (5-MeBza), 5-methoxybenzimidazole (5-OMeBza), 5-hydroxybenzimidazole (5-OHBza), and benzimidazole (Bza).
Mentions: Cobamides are cofactors that function in a variety of metabolic processes in animals, protists, and prokaryotes. Cobamides belong to a broader class of molecules called corrinoids that share a common cobalt-containing corrin ring. Cobamides are corrinoids that contain a lower axial ligand covalently bound to the corrin ring via the nucleotide loop (Roth et al., 1996; Escalante-Semerena, 2007). The essential nutrient cobalamin (Figure 1A, known as vitamin B12 when taken in its cyanated form as a supplement) is the best studied cobamide and is well known for its importance in human health. Cobalamin and other cobamides also function as cofactors for several ecologically important processes in prokaryotes. For example, cobamides are used as cofactors for methanogenesis, acetogenesis, carbon fixation, the formation of toxic methyl mercury, and the detoxification of chlorinated solvents such as trichloroethene (TCE; Choi et al., 1994; Banerjee and Ragsdale, 2003; He et al., 2007; Ragsdale and Pierce, 2008). Cobamides are found in host-associated and environmental microbial communities including the human intestine, bovine rumen, wood-feeding insects, and TCE-dechlorinating communities (Kräutler et al., 2003; Allen and Stabler, 2008; Girard et al., 2009; Yi et al., 2012).

Bottom Line: Of the three classes of lower ligands, the benzimidazoles are uniquely found in cobamides, whereas the purine and phenolic bases have additional biological functions.The concentrations of individual benzimidazoles in these samples were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry.Several benzimidazoles were detected in subpicomolar to subnanomolar concentrations in host-associated and environmental samples.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Plant and Microbial Biology, University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.

ABSTRACT
Cobamides are a family of enzyme cofactors that include vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and are produced solely by prokaryotes. Structural variability in the lower axial ligand has been observed in cobamides produced by diverse organisms. Of the three classes of lower ligands, the benzimidazoles are uniquely found in cobamides, whereas the purine and phenolic bases have additional biological functions. Many organisms acquire cobamides by salvaging and remodeling cobamides or their precursors from the environment. These processes require free benzimidazoles for incorporation as lower ligands, though the presence of benzimidazoles in the environment has not been previously investigated. Here, we report a new purification method and bioassay to measure the total free benzimidazole content of samples from microbial communities and laboratory media components. The bioassay relies on the "calcofluor-bright" phenotype of a bluB mutant of the model cobalamin-producing bacterium Sinorhizobium meliloti. The concentrations of individual benzimidazoles in these samples were measured by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Several benzimidazoles were detected in subpicomolar to subnanomolar concentrations in host-associated and environmental samples. In addition, benzimidazoles were found to be common contaminants of laboratory media components. These results suggest that benzimidazoles present in the environment and in laboratory media have the potential to influence microbial metabolic activities.

No MeSH data available.