Microbial electrochemical technologies are emerging as environmentally friendly biotechnological processes. Recently, a thermophilic Gram-positive bacterium capable of electricity production in a microbial fuel cell was isolated. Thermincola potens JR contains several multiheme c-type cytochromes that were implicated in the process of electricity production. In order to understand the molecular basis by which Gram-positive bacteria perform extracellular electron transfer, the relevant proteins need to be characterized in detail. Towards this end, a chimeric gene containing the signal peptide from Shewanella oneidensis MR-1 small tetraheme cytochrome c (STC) and the gene sequence of the target protein TherJR-0333 was constructed. This manuscript reports the successful expression of this chimeric gene in the Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli and its subsequent purification and characterization. This methodology opens the possibility to study other multiheme cytochromes from Gram-positive bacteria, allowing the extracellular electron transfer mechanisms of this class of organisms to be unraveled.
- Extracellular electron transfer
- Gram-positive bacteria
- Microbial fuel cells