Adaptation of Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 to Toxic Zinc Concentrations Involves an Uncharacterized ABC-Type Transporter

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Cupriavidus metallidurans CH34 is a well-studied metal-resistant _-proteobacterium and contains a battery of genes participating in metal metabolism and resistance. Here, we generated a mutant (CH34ZnR) adapted to high zinc concentrations in order to study how CH34 could adaptively further increase its resistance against this metal. Characterization of CH34ZnR revealed that it was also more resistant to cadmium, and that it incurred seven insertion sequence-mediated mutations. Among these, an IS1088 disruption of the glpR gene (encoding a DeoR-type transcriptional repressor) resulted in the constitutive expression of the neighboring ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type transporter. GlpR and the adjacent ABC transporter are highly similar to the glycerol operon regulator and ATP-driven glycerol importer of Rhizobium leguminosarum bv. viciae VF39, respectively. Deletion of glpR or the ABC transporter and complementation of CH34ZnR with the parental glpR gene further demonstrated that loss of GlpR function and concomitant derepression of the adjacent ABC transporter is pivotal for the observed resistance phenotype. Importantly, addition of glycerol, presumably by glycerol-mediated attenuation of GlpR activity, also promoted increased zinc and cadmium resistance in the parental CH34 strain. Upregulation of this ABC-type transporter is therefore proposed as a new adaptation route towards metal resistance.


Original languageEnglish
Article number9020309
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2 Feb 2021


  • Cupriavidus metallidurans, Zinc resistance, Cadmium resistance, Directed evolution, ABC transporter

ID: 7083476