Acetate Fermentation facilitates survival of Mtb when respiration is inhibited
ABSTRACT: Respiratory ATP-synthesis is at present the only known mechanism for ATP synthesis in Mtb. This makes Mtb particularly vulnerable to inhibition of respiratory ATP synthase inhibitors such as TMC207, a novel compound for treatment of tuberculosis. We now provide first evidence that Mtb possesses a pathway that is fermentative in nature that could compensate lack of respiratory ATP synthesis. We identified acetate as a fermentation product in Mtb. Production of acetate was mediated by phosphotransacetylase (Pta) and acetate kinase (AckA). In acetate fermenting Mtb cultures, ATP levels remained stable despite inhibition of respiratory ATP synthase. Deletion of the PtaAckA pathway in Mtb decreased ATP content and impaired survival. This study provides evidence that in Mtb substrate level phosphorylation can compensate lack of oxidative phosphorylation, and thus facilitates survival of Mtb in the absence of respiration. Acetate fermentation contributes to adaptation to respiration-limiting conditions, and plays an important role in the emerging field of fermentative metabolism of Mtb. We performed DNA microarray analysis to validate the reduction of oxygen concentration by comparing aerobic and hypoxic cultures. RNA was prepared from Mtb after two days of cultivation in aerobic and in hypoxic cultures. At each condition, Mtb were cultured in medium supplemented with glycerol and glucose. Labelled cDNA from three independent experiments was subjected to array analysis.
Project description:Respiratory ATP-synthesis is at present the only known mechanism for ATP synthesis in Mtb. This makes Mtb particularly vulnerable to inhibition of respiratory ATP synthase inhibitors such as TMC207, a novel compound for treatment of tuberculosis. We now provide first evidence that Mtb possesses a pathway that is fermentative in nature that could compensate lack of respiratory ATP synthesis. We identified acetate as a fermentation product in Mtb. Production of acetate was mediated by phosphotransacetylase (Pta) and acetate kinase (AckA). In acetate fermenting Mtb cultures, ATP levels remained stable despite inhibition of respiratory ATP synthase. Deletion of the PtaAckA pathway in Mtb decreased ATP content and impaired survival. This study provides evidence that in Mtb substrate level phosphorylation can compensate lack of oxidative phosphorylation, and thus facilitates survival of Mtb in the absence of respiration. Acetate fermentation contributes to adaptation to respiration-limiting conditions, and plays an important role in the emerging field of fermentative metabolism of Mtb. Overall design: We performed DNA microarray analysis to validate the reduction of oxygen concentration by comparing aerobic and hypoxic cultures. RNA was prepared from Mtb after two days of cultivation in aerobic and in hypoxic cultures. At each condition, Mtb were cultured in medium supplemented with glycerol and glucose. Labelled cDNA from three independent experiments was subjected to array analysis.
Project description:Although lignocellulosic sugars have been proposed as the primary feedstock for the biological production of renewable fuels and chemicals, the availability of fatty acid (FA)-rich feedstocks and recent progress in the development of oil-accumulating organisms make FAs an attractive alternative. In addition to their abundance, the metabolism of FAs is very efficient and could support product yields significantly higher than those obtained from lignocellulosic sugars. However, FAs are metabolized only under respiratory conditions, a metabolic mode that does not support the synthesis of fermentation products. In the work reported here we engineered several native and heterologous fermentative pathways to function in Escherichia coli under aerobic conditions, thus creating a respiro-fermentative metabolic mode that enables the efficient synthesis of fuels and chemicals from FAs. Representative biofuels (ethanol and butanol) and biochemicals (acetate, acetone, isopropanol, succinate, and propionate) were chosen as target products to illustrate the feasibility of the proposed platform. The yields of ethanol, acetate, and acetone in the engineered strains exceeded those reported in the literature for their production from sugars, and in the cases of ethanol and acetate they also surpassed the maximum theoretical values that can be achieved from lignocellulosic sugars. Butanol was produced at yields and titers that were between 2- and 3-fold higher than those reported for its production from sugars in previously engineered microorganisms. Moreover, our work demonstrates production of propionate, a compound previously thought to be synthesized only by propionibacteria, in E. coli. Finally, the synthesis of isopropanol and succinate was also demonstrated. The work reported here represents the first effort toward engineering microorganisms for the conversion of FAs to the aforementioned products.
Project description:Lactococcus lactis is a widely used food bacterium mainly characterized for its fermentation metabolism. However, this species undergoes a metabolic shift to respiration when heme is added to an aerobic medium. Respiration results in markedly improved biomass and survival compared to fermentation. Whole-genome microarrays were used to assess changes in L. lactis expression under aerobic and respiratory conditions compared to static growth, i.e., nonaerated. We observed the following. (i) Stress response genes were affected mainly by aerobic fermentation. This result underscores the differences between aerobic fermentation and respiration environments and confirms that respiration growth alleviates oxidative stress. (ii) Functions essential for respiratory metabolism, e.g., genes encoding cytochrome bd oxidase, menaquinone biosynthesis, and heme uptake, are similarly expressed under the three conditions. This indicates that cells are prepared for respiration once O(2) and heme become available. (iii) Expression of only 11 genes distinguishes respiration from both aerobic and static fermentation cultures. Among them, the genes comprising the putative ygfCBA operon are strongly induced by heme regardless of respiration, thus identifying the first heme-responsive operon in lactococci. We give experimental evidence that the ygfCBA genes are involved in heme homeostasis.
Project description:Acetate is a characteristic by-product of Escherichia coli K-12 growing in batch cultures with glucose, both under aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions. While the reason underlying aerobic acetate production is still under discussion, during anaerobic growth acetate production is important for ATP generation by substrate level phosphorylation. Under both conditions, acetate is produced by a pathway consisting of the enzyme phosphate acetyltransferase (Pta) producing acetyl-phosphate from acetyl-coenzyme A, and of the enzyme acetate kinase (AckA) producing acetate from acetyl-phosphate, a reaction that is coupled to the production of ATP. Mutants in the AckA-Pta pathway differ from each other in the potential to produce and accumulate acetyl-phosphate. In the publication at hand, we investigated different mutants in the acetate pathway, both under aerobic as well as anaerobic conditions. While under aerobic conditions only small changes in growth rate were observed, all acetate mutants showed severe reduction in growth rate and changes in the by-product pattern during anaerobic growth. The AckA- mutant showed the most severe growth defect. The glucose uptake rate and the ATP concentration were strongly reduced in this strain. This mutant exhibited also changes in gene expression. In this strain, the atoDAEB operon was significantly upregulated under anaerobic conditions hinting to the production of acetoacetate. During anaerobic growth, protein acetylation increased significantly in the ackA mutant. Acetylation of several enzymes of glycolysis and central metabolism, of aspartate carbamoyl transferase, methionine synthase, catalase and of proteins involved in translation was increased. Supplementation of methionine and uracil eliminated the additional growth defect of the ackA mutant. The data show that anaerobic, fermentative growth of mutants in the AckA-Pta pathway is reduced but still possible. Growth reduction can be explained by the lack of an important ATP generating pathway of mixed acid fermentation. An ackA deletion mutant is more severely impaired than pta or ackA-pta deletion mutants. This is most probably due to the production of acetyl-P in the ackA mutant, leading to increased protein acetylation.
Project description:Overflow metabolism in the presence of oxygen occurs at fast growth rates in a wide range of organisms including bacteria, yeast and cancer cells and plays an important role in biotechnology during production of proteins or metabolic compounds. As recently suggested, overflow metabolism can be understood in terms of proteome allocation, since fermentation has lower proteome cost for energy production than respiration. Here, we demonstrate that ArcA overexpression in aerobic conditions, results in downregulation of respiratory pathways and enhanced growth rates on glycolytic substrates of E. coli, coinciding with acetate excretion and increased carbon uptake rates. These results suggest that fermentation enables faster growth and demonstrate that fermentation on many glycolytic carbon sources is not limited by carbon uptake. Hence, these findings are difficult to reconcile with many alternative hypotheses that have been proposed for the origin of overflow metabolism and the growth rate dependence of fermentation and respiration, which are based on limited capacity of respiration or limitations in uptake rates and catabolic pathways. Instead, as suggested by increased lag phases of ArcA overexpression strains, respiratory energy metabolism may be related to a general preparatory response, observed for decreasing growth rates, but with limited advantages for maximizing steady-state growth rate.
Project description:Respiratory metabolism plays an important role in energy production in the form of ATP in all aerobically growing cells. However, a limitation in respiratory capacity results in overflow metabolism, leading to the formation of byproducts, a phenomenon known as "overflow metabolism" or "the Crabtree effect." The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae has served as an important model organism for studying the Crabtree effect. When subjected to increasing glycolytic fluxes under aerobic conditions, there is a threshold value of the glucose uptake rate at which the metabolism shifts from purely respiratory to mixed respiratory and fermentative. It is well known that glucose repression of respiratory pathways occurs at high glycolytic fluxes, resulting in a decrease in respiratory capacity. Despite many years of detailed studies on this subject, it is not known whether the onset of the Crabtree effect is due to limited respiratory capacity or is caused by glucose-mediated repression of respiration. When respiration in S. cerevisiae was increased by introducing a heterologous alternative oxidase, we observed reduced aerobic ethanol formation. In contrast, increasing nonrespiratory NADH oxidation by overexpression of a water-forming NADH oxidase reduced aerobic glycerol formation. The metabolic response to elevated alternative oxidase occurred predominantly in the mitochondria, whereas NADH oxidase affected genes that catalyze cytosolic reactions. Moreover, NADH oxidase restored the deficiency of cytosolic NADH dehydrogenases in S. cerevisiae. These results indicate that NADH oxidase localizes in the cytosol, whereas alternative oxidase is directed to the mitochondria.
Project description:The Crabtree positive yeasts, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, prefer fermentation to respiration, even under fully aerobic conditions. The selective pressures that drove the evolution of this trait remain controversial because of the low ATP yield of fermentation compared to respiration. Here we propagate experimental populations of the weak-Crabtree yeast Lachancea kluyveri, in competitive co-culture with bacteria. We find that L. kluyveri adapts by producing quantities of ethanol lethal to bacteria and evolves several of the defining characteristics of Crabtree positive yeasts. We use precise quantitative analysis to show that the rate advantage of fermentation over aerobic respiration is insufficient to provide an overall growth advantage. Thus, the rapid consumption of glucose and the utilization of ethanol are essential for the success of the aerobic fermentation strategy. These results corroborate that selection derived from competition with bacteria could have provided the impetus for the evolution of the Crabtree positive trait.
Project description:Metabolic flexibility is the key to the ecological success of the marine Roseobacter clade bacteria. We investigated the metabolic adaptation and the underlying changes in gene expression of Dinoroseobacter shibae DFL12(T) to anoxic life by a combination of metabolome, proteome, and transcriptome analyses. Time-resolved studies during continuous oxygen depletion were performed in a chemostat using nitrate as the terminal electron acceptor. Formation of the denitrification machinery was found enhanced on the transcriptional and proteome level, indicating that D. shibae DFL12(T) established nitrate respiration to compensate for the depletion of the electron acceptor oxygen. In parallel, arginine fermentation was induced. During the transition state, growth and ATP concentration were found to be reduced, as reflected by a decrease of A578 values and viable cell counts. In parallel, the central metabolism, including gluconeogenesis, protein biosynthesis, and purine/pyrimidine synthesis was found transiently reduced in agreement with the decreased demand for cellular building blocks. Surprisingly, an accumulation of poly-3-hydroxybutanoate was observed during prolonged incubation under anoxic conditions. One possible explanation is the storage of accumulated metabolites and the regeneration of NADP(+) from NADPH during poly-3-hydroxybutanoate synthesis (NADPH sink). Although D. shibae DFL12(T) was cultivated in the dark, biosynthesis of bacteriochlorophyll was increased, possibly to prepare for additional energy generation via aerobic anoxygenic photophosphorylation. Overall, oxygen depletion led to a metabolic crisis with partly blocked pathways and the accumulation of metabolites. In response, major energy-consuming processes were reduced until the alternative respiratory denitrification machinery was operative.
Project description:Many differentiated cells rely primarily on mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation for generating energy in the form of ATP needed for cellular metabolism. In contrast most tumor cells instead rely on aerobic glycolysis leading to lactate to about the same extent as on respiration. Warburg found that cancer cells to support oxidative phosphorylation, tend to ferment glucose or other energy source into lactate even in the presence of sufficient oxygen, which is an inefficient way to generate ATP. This effect also occurs in striated muscle cells, activated lymphocytes and microglia, endothelial cells and several mammalian cell types, a phenomenon termed the "Warburg effect". The effect is paradoxical at first glance because the ATP production rate of aerobic glycolysis is much slower than that of respiration and the energy demands are better to be met by pure oxidative phosphorylation. We tackle this question by building a minimal model including three combined reactions. The new aspect in extension to earlier models is that we take into account the possible uptake and oxidation of the fermentation products. We examine the case where the cell can allocate protein on several enzymes in a varying distribution and model this by a linear programming problem in which the objective is to maximize the ATP production rate under different combinations of constraints on enzymes. Depending on the cost of reactions and limitation of the substrates, this leads to pure respiration, pure fermentation, and a mixture of respiration and fermentation. The model predicts that fermentation products are only oxidized when glucose is scarce or its uptake is severely limited.
Project description:Gene regulation change has long been recognized as an important mechanism for phenotypic evolution. We used the evolution of yeast aerobic fermentation as a model to explore how gene regulation has evolved and how this process has contributed to phenotypic evolution and adaptation. Most eukaryotes fully oxidize glucose to CO2 and H2O in mitochondria to maximize energy yield, whereas some yeasts, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae and its relatives, predominantly ferment glucose into ethanol even in the presence of oxygen, a phenomenon known as aerobic fermentation. We examined the genome-wide gene expression levels among 12 different yeasts and found that a group of genes involved in the mitochondrial respiration process showed the largest reduction in gene expression level during the evolution of aerobic fermentation. Our analysis revealed that the downregulation of these genes was significantly associated with massive loss of binding motifs of Cbf1p in the fermentative yeasts. Our experimental assays confirmed the binding of Cbf1p to the predicted motif and the activator role of Cbf1p. In summary, our study laid a foundation to unravel the long-time mystery about the genetic basis of evolution of aerobic fermentation, providing new insights into understanding the role of cis-regulatory changes in phenotypic evolution.