Involvement of the YneS/YgiH and PlsX proteins in phospholipid biosynthesis in both Bacillus subtilis and Escherichia coli.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Phospholipid biosynthesis commences with the acylation of glycerol-3-phosphate (G3P) to form 1-acyl-G3P. This step is catalyzed by the PlsB protein in Escherichia coli. The gene encoding this protein has not been identified, however, in the majority of bacterial genome sequences, including that of Bacillus subtilis. Recently, a new two-step pathway catalyzed by PlsX and PlsY proteins for the initiation of phospholipid formation in Streptococcus pneumoniae has been reported. RESULTS: In B. subtilis, 271 genes have been reported to be indispensable, when inactivated singly, for growth in LB medium. Among these, 11 genes encode proteins with unknown functions. As part of a genetic study to identify the functions of these genes, we show here that the B. subtilis ortholog of S. pneumoniae PlsY, YneS, is required for G3P acyltransferase activity, together with PlsX. The B. subtilis genome lacks plsB, and we show in vivo that the PlsX/Y pathway is indeed essential for the growth of bacteria lacking plsB. Interestingly, in addition to plsB, E. coli possesses plsX and the plsY ortholog, ygiH. We therefore explored the functional relationship between PlsB, PlsX and YgiH in E. coli, and found that plsB is essential for E. coli growth, indicating that PlsB plays an important role in 1-acyl-G3P synthesis in E. coli. We also found, however, that the simultaneous inactivation of plsX and ygiH was impossible, revealing important roles for PlsX and YgiH in E. coli growth. CONCLUSION: Both plsX and yneS are essential for 1-acyl-G3P synthesis in B. subtilis, in agreement with recent reports on their biochemical functions. In E. coli, PlsB plays a principal role in 1-acyl-G3P synthesis and is also essential for bacterial growth. PlsX and YgiH also, however, play important roles in E. coli growth, possibly by regulating the intracellular concentration of acyl-ACP. These proteins are therefore important targets for development of new antibacterial agents.
Project description:Glycerol-3-phosphate (sn-glycerol-3-P, G3P) acyltransferase catalyses the first committed step in the biosynthesis of membrane phospholipids, the acylation of G3P to form 1-acyl G3P (lysophosphatidic acid). The paradigm G3P acyltransferase is the Escherichia coli plsB gene product which acylates position-1 of G3P using fatty acids in thioester linkage to either acyl carrier protein (ACP) or CoA as acyl donors. Although the E. coli plsB gene was discovered about 30 years ago, no evidence for transcriptional control of its expression has been reported. However A.E. Kazakov and co-workers (J Bacteriol 2009; 191: 52-64) reported the presence of a putative FadR binding site upstream of the candidate plsB genes of Vibrio cholerae and three other Vibrio species suggesting that plsB might be regulated by FadR, a GntR family transcription factor thus far known only to regulate fatty acid synthesis and degradation. We report that the V. cholerae plsB homologue restored growth of E. coli strain BB26-36 which is a G3P auxotroph due to an altered G3P acyltransferase activity. The plsB promoter was also mapped and the predicted FadR-binding palindrome was found to span positions -19 to -35, upstream of the transcription start site. Gel shift assays confirmed that both V. cholerae FadR and E. coli FadR bound the V. cholerae plsB promoter region and binding was reversed upon addition of long-chain fatty acyl-CoA thioesters. The expression level of the V. cholerae plsB gene was elevated two- to threefold in an E. coli fadR null mutant strain indicating that FadR acts as a repressor of V. cholerae plsB expression. In both E. coli and V. cholerae the ?-galactosidase activity of transcriptional fusions of the V. cholerae plsB promoter to lacZ increased two- to threefold upon supplementation of growth media with oleic acid. Therefore, V. cholerae co-ordinates fatty acid metabolism with 1-acyl G3P synthesis.
Project description:Phospholipid biosynthesis is a vital facet of bacterial physiology that begins with the synthesis of the fatty acids by a soluble type II fatty acid synthase. The bacterial glycerol-phosphate acyltransferases utilize the completed fatty acid chains to form the first membrane phospholipid and thus play a critical role in the regulation of membrane biogenesis. The first bacterial acyltransferase described was PlsB, a glycerol-phosphate acyltransferase. PlsB is a key regulatory point that coordinates membrane phospholipid formation with cell growth and macromolecular synthesis. Phosphatidic acid is then produced by PlsC, a 1-acylglycerol-phosphate acyltransferase. These two acyltransferases use thioesters of either CoA or acyl carrier protein (ACP) as the acyl donors and have homologs that perform the same reactions in higher organisms. However, the most prevalent glycerol-phosphate acyltransferase in the bacterial world is PlsY, which uses a recently discovered acyl-phosphate fatty acid intermediate as an acyl donor. This unique activated fatty acid is formed from the acyl-ACP end products of the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway by PlsX, an acyl-ACP:phosphate transacylase.
Project description:The sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (plsB) of Escherichia coli is a key regulatory enzyme that catalyzes the first committed step in phospholipid biosynthesis. We report the initial characterization of a novel gene (termed plsD) from Clostridium butyricum, cloned based on its ability to complement the sn-glycerol-3-phosphate auxotrophic phenotype of a plsB mutant strain of E. coli. Unlike the 83-kDa PlsB acyltransferase from E. coli, the predicted plsD open reading frame encoded a protein of 26.5 kDa. Two regions of strong homology to other lipid acyltransferases, including PlsB and PlsC analogs from mammals, plants, yeast, and bacteria, were identified. PlsD was most closely related to the 1-acyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (plsC) gene family but did not complement the growth of plsC(Ts) mutants. An in vivo metabolic labeling experiment using a plsB plsX plsC(Ts) strain of E. coli confirmed that the plsD expression restored the ability of the cells to synthesize 1-acyl-glycerol-3-phosphate. However, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase activity was not detected in vitro in assays using either acyl-acyl carrier protein or acyl coenzyme A as the substrate.
Project description:A cluster of Bacillus subtilis fatty acid synthetic genes was isolated by complementation of an Escherichia coli fabD mutant encoding a thermosensitive malonyl coenzyme A-acyl carrier protein transacylase. The B. subtilis genomic segment contains genes that encode three fatty acid synthetic proteins, malonyl coenzyme A-acyl carrier protein transacylase (fabD), 3-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductase (fabG), and the N-terminal 14 amino acid residues of acyl carrier protein (acpP). Also present is a sequence that encodes a homolog of E. coli plsX, a gene that plays a poorly understood role in phospholipid synthesis. The B. subtilis plsX gene weakly complemented an E. coli plsX mutant. The order of genes in the cluster is plsX fabD fabG acpP, the same order found in E. coli, except that in E. coli the fabH gene lies between plsX and fabD. The absence of fabH in the B. subtilis cluster is consistent with the different fatty acid compositions of the two organisms. The amino acid sequence of B. subtilis acyl carrier protein was obtained by sequencing the purified protein, and the sequence obtained strongly resembled that of E. coli acyl carrier protein, except that most of the protein retained the initiating methionine residue. The B. subtilis fab cluster was mapped to the 135 to 145 degrees region of the chromosome.
Project description:The membrane-integral glycerol 3-phosphate (G3P) acyltransferase PlsY catalyses the committed and essential step in bacterial phospholipid biosynthesis by acylation of G3P, forming lysophosphatidic acid. It contains no known acyltransferase motifs, lacks eukaryotic homologs, and uses the unusual acyl-phosphate as acyl donor, as opposed to acyl-CoA or acyl-carrier protein for other acyltransferases. Previous studies have identified several PlsY inhibitors as potential antimicrobials. Here we determine the crystal structure of PlsY at 1.48?Å resolution, revealing a seven-transmembrane helix fold. Four additional substrate- and product-bound structures uncover the atomic details of its relatively inflexible active site. Structure and mutagenesis suggest a different acylation mechanism of 'substrate-assisted catalysis' that, unlike other acyltransferases, does not require a proteinaceous catalytic base to complete. The structure data and a high-throughput enzymatic assay developed in this work should prove useful for virtual and experimental screening of inhibitors against this vital bacterial enzyme.
Project description:Sequence analysis of membrane-bound glycerolipid acyltransferases revealed that proteins from the bacterial, plant, and animal kingdoms share a highly conserved domain containing invariant histidine and aspartic acid residues separated by four less conserved residues in an HX4D configuration. We investigated the role of the invariant histidine residue in acyltransferase catalysis by site-directed mutagenesis of two representative members of this family, the sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase (PlsB) and the bifunctional 2-acyl-glycerophosphoethanolamine acyltransferase/acyl-acyl carrier protein synthetase (Aas) of Escherichia coli. Both the PlsB[H306A] and Aas[H36A] mutants lacked acyltransferase activity. However, the Aas[H36A] mutant retained significant acyl-acyl carrier protein synthetase activity, illustrating that the lack of acyltransferase activity was specifically associated with the H36A substitution. The invariant aspartic acid residue in the HX4D pattern was also important. The substitution of aspartic acid 311 with glutamic acid in PlsB resulted in an enzyme with significantly reduced catalytic activity. Substitution of an alanine at this position eliminated acyltransferase activity; however, the PlsB[D311A] mutant protein did not assemble into the membrane, indicating that aspartic acid 311 is also important for the proper folding and membrane insertion of the acyltransferases. These data are consistent with a mechanism for glycerolipid acyltransferase catalysis where the invariant histidine functions as a general base to deprotonate the hydroxyl moiety of the acyl acceptor.
Project description:PlsX is a key enzyme that coordinates the production of fatty acids and membrane phospholipids. The plsX gene is co-localized with a bacterial fab gene cluster which encodes several key fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes. The protein is a member of a large, conserved protein family (Pfam02504) found exclusively in bacteria. The PlsX sequence homologues include both phosphate acetyltransferases and phosphate butaryltransferases that catalyze the transfer of an acetyl or butaryl group to orthophosphate. We have determined the crystal structure of PlsX from the human pathogen Enterococcus faecalis. PlsX is a alpha/beta/alpha sandwich that resembles a Rossmann fold and forms a dimer. A putative catalytic site has been identified within a deep groove on the interface between monomers. This site showed strong surface similarity to epimerases and reductases. It was recently proposed that PlsX is a phosphate acyltransferase that catalyzes the formation of acyl-phosphate from the acyl-acyl carrier protein; however the specific biochemical function of the PlsX protein awaits further experimental scrutiny.
Project description:The genes encoding several key fatty acid biosynthetic enzymes (called the fab cluster) are clustered in the order plsX-fabH-fabD-fabG-acpP-fabF at min 24 of the Escherichia coli chromosome. A difficulty in analysis of the fab cluster by the polar allele duplication approach (Y. Zhang and J. E. Cronan, Jr., J. Bacteriol. 178:3614-3620, 1996) is that several of these genes are essential for the growth of E. coli. We overcame this complication by use of the fab gene cluster of Salmonella typhimurium, a close relative of E. coli, to provide functions necessary for growth. The S. typhimurium fab cluster was isolated by complementation of an E. coli fabD mutant and was found to encode proteins with > 94% homology to those of E. coli. However, the S. typhimurium sequences cannot recombine with the E. coli sequences required to direct polar allele duplication via homologous recombination. Using this approach, we found that although approximately 60% of the plsX transcripts initiate at promoters located far upstream and include the upstream rpmF ribosomal protein gene, a promoter located upstream of the plsX coding sequence (probably within the upstream gene, rpmF) is sufficient for normal growth. We have also found that the fabG gene is obligatorily cotranscribed with upstream genes. Insertion of a transcription terminator cassette (omega-Cm cassette) between the fabD and fabG genes of the E. coli chromosome abolished fabG transcription and blocked cell growth, thus providing the first indication that fabG is an essential gene. Insertion of the omega-Cm cassette between fabH and fabD caused greatly decreased transcription of the fabD and fabG genes and slower cellular growth, indicating that fabD has only a weak promoter(s).
Project description:Streptococcus mutans, one of the primary causative agents of dental caries in humans, ferments dietary sugars in the mouth to produce organic acids. These acids lower local pH values, resulting in demineralization of the tooth enamel, leading to caries. To survive acidic environments, Strep. mutans employs several adaptive mechanisms, including a shift from saturated to unsaturated fatty acids in membrane phospholipids. PlsX is an acyl-ACP?:?phosphate transacylase that links the fatty acid synthase II (FASII) pathway to the phospholipid synthesis pathway, and is therefore central to the movement of unsaturated fatty acids into the membrane. Recently, we discovered that plsX is not essential in Strep. mutans. A plsX deletion mutant was not a fatty acid or phospholipid auxotroph. Gas chromatography of fatty acid methyl esters indicated that membrane fatty acid chain length in the plsX deletion strain differed from those detected in the parent strain, UA159. The deletion strain displayed a fatty acid shift similar to WT, but had a higher percentage of unsaturated fatty acids at low pH. The deletion strain survived significantly longer than the parent strain when cultures were subjected to an acid challenge of pH?2.5.The ?plsX strain also exhibited elevated F-ATPase activity at pH?5.2, compared with the parent. These results indicate that the loss of plsX affects both the fatty acid synthesis pathway and the acid-adaptive response of Strep. mutans.
Project description:Regions of increased fluidity are newly found bacterial membrane microdomains that are composed of short, unsaturated and branched fatty acyl chains in a fluid and disordered state. Currently, little is known about how proteins are recruited and localized to these membrane domains. Here, we identify a short amphipathic ?-peptide in a previously unreported crystal structure and show that it is responsible for peripheral localization of the phosphate acyltransferase PlsX to the fluid microdomains in Bacillus subtilis. Mutations disrupting the amphipathic interaction or increasing the nonpolar interaction are found to redistribute the protein to the cytosol or other part of the plasma membrane, causing growth defects. These results reveal a mechanism of peripheral membrane sensing through optimizing nonpolar interaction with the special lipids in the microdomains. This finding shows that the fluid membrane microdomains may take advantage of their unique lipid environment as a means of recruiting and organizing proteins.