Deoxyribonucleoside kinases (dNKs) are essential in the mammalian cell but their 'importance' in bacteria, especially aquatic ones, is less clear. We studied two aquatic bacteria, Gram-negative Flavobacterium psychrophilum JIP02/86 and Polaribacter sp. MED152, for their ability to salvage deoxyribonucleosides (dNs). Both had a Gram-positive-type thymidine kinase (TK1), which could phosphorylate thymidine, and one non-TK1 dNK, which could efficiently phosphorylate deoxyadenosine and slightly also deoxycytosine. Surprisingly, the four tested dNKs could not phosphorylate deoxyguanosine, and apparently, these two bacteria are missing this activity. When tens of available aquatic bacteria genomes were examined for the presence of dNKs, a majority had at least a TK1-like gene, but several lacked any dNKs. Apparently, among aquatic bacteria, the role of the dN salvage varies.
Tinta, T., Christiansen, L. S., Konrad, A., Liberles, D. A., Turk, V., Munch-Petersen, B., Piskur, J., & Clausen, A. R. (2012). Deoxyribonucleoside kinases in two aquatic bacteria with high specificity for thymidine and deoxyadenosine. F E M S Microbiology Letters, 331(2), 120-127. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.2012.02565.x