The Effect of Single and Multiple SERAT Mutants on Serine and Sulfur Metabolism.
ABSTRACT: The gene family of serine acetyltransferases (SERATs) constitutes an interface between the plant pathways of serine and sulfur metabolism. SERATs provide the activated precursor, O-acetylserine for the fixation of reduced sulfur into cysteine by exchanging the serine hydroxyl moiety by a sulfhydryl moiety, and subsequently all organic compounds containing reduced sulfur moieties. We investigate here, how manipulation of the SERAT interface results in metabolic alterations upstream or downstream of this boundary and the extent to which the five SERAT isoforms exert an effect on the coupled system, respectively. Serine is synthesized through three distinct pathways while cysteine biosynthesis is distributed over the three compartments cytosol, mitochondria, and plastids. As the respective mutants are viable, all necessary metabolites can obviously cross various membrane systems to compensate what would otherwise constitute a lethal failure in cysteine biosynthesis. Furthermore, given that cysteine serves as precursor for multiple pathways, cysteine biosynthesis is highly regulated at both, the enzyme and the expression level. In this study, metabolite profiles of a mutant series of the SERAT gene family displayed that levels of the downstream metabolites in sulfur metabolism were affected in correlation with the reduction levels of SERAT activities and the growth phenotypes, while levels of the upstream metabolites in serine metabolism were unchanged in the serat mutants compared to wild-type plants. These results suggest that despite of the fact that the two metabolic pathways are directly connected, there seems to be no causal link in metabolic alterations. This might be caused by the difference of their pool sizes or the tight regulation by homeostatic mechanisms that control the metabolite concentration in plant cells. Additionally, growth conditions exerted an influence on metabolic compositions.
Project description:Nitrogen-fixing nodules, which are also major sites of sulfur assimilation, contribute significantly to the sulfur needs of whole soybean plants. Nodules are the predominant sites for cysteine accumulation and the activity of O-acetylserine(thiol)lyase (OASS) is central to the sulfur assimilation process in plants. Here, we examined the impact of overexpressing OASS on soybean nodulation and nodule metabolome. Overexpression of OASS did not affect the nodule number, but negatively impacted plant growth. HPLC measurement of antioxidant metabolites demonstrated that levels of cysteine, glutathione, and homoglutathione nearly doubled in OASS overexpressing nodules when compared to control nodules. Metabolite profiling by LC-MS and GC-MS demonstrated that several metabolites related to serine, aspartate, glutamate, and branched-chain amino acid pathways were significantly elevated in OASS overexpressing nodules. Striking differences were also observed in the flavonoid levels between the OASS overexpressing and control soybean nodules. Our results suggest that OASS overexpressing plants compensate for the increase in carbon requirement for sulfur assimilation by reducing the biosynthesis of some amino acids, and by replenishing the TCA cycle through fatty acid hydrolysis. These data may indicate that in OASS overexpressing soybean nodules there is a moderate decease in the supply of energy metabolites to the nodule, which is then compensated by the degradation of cellular components to meet the needs of the nodule energy metabolism.
Project description:Photoreceptors, especially cones, which are enriched in the human macula, have high energy demands, making them vulnerable to metabolic stress. Metabolic dysfunction of photoreceptors and their supporting retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is an important underlying cause of degenerative retinal diseases. However, how cones and the macula support their exorbitant metabolic demand and communicate with RPE is unclear. By profiling metabolite uptake and release and analyzing metabolic genes, we have found cone-rich retinas and human macula share specific metabolic features with upregulated pathways in pyruvate metabolism, mitochondrial TCA cycle, and lipid synthesis. Human neural retina and RPE have distinct but complementary metabolic features. Retinal metabolism centers on NADH production and neurotransmitter biosynthesis. The retina needs aspartate to sustain its aerobic glycolysis and mitochondrial metabolism. RPE metabolism is directed toward NADPH production and biosynthesis of acetyl-rich metabolites, serine, and others. RPE consumes multiple nutrients, including proline, to produce metabolites for the retina.
Project description:This study was aimed at elucidating the significance of photorespiratory serine (Ser) production for cysteine (Cys) biosynthesis. For this purpose, sulfur (S) metabolism and its crosstalk with nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) metabolism were analyzed in wildtype Arabidopsis and its photorespiratory bou-2 mutant with impaired glycine decarboxylase (GDC) activity. Foliar glycine and Ser contents were enhanced in the mutant at day and night. The high Ser levels in the mutant cannot be explained by transcript abundances of genes of the photorespiratory pathway or two alternative pathways of Ser biosynthesis. Despite enhanced foliar Ser, reduced GDC activity mediated a decline in sulfur flux into major sulfur pools in the mutant, as a result of deregulation of genes of sulfur reduction and assimilation. Still, foliar Cys and glutathione contents in the mutant were enhanced. The use of Cys for methionine and glucosinolates synthesis was reduced in the mutant. Reduced GDC activity in the mutant downregulated Calvin Cycle and nitrogen assimilation genes, upregulated key enzymes of glycolysis and the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) pathway and modified accumulation of sugars and TCA intermediates. Thus, photorespiratory Ser production can be replaced by other metabolic Ser sources, but this replacement deregulates the cross-talk between S, N, and C metabolism.
Project description:Conserved genes essential to sulfur assimilation and trafficking in aerobic organisms are missing in many methanogens, most of which inhabit highly sulfidic, anaerobic environmental niches. This suggests that methanogens possess distinct pathways for the synthesis of key metabolites and intermediates, including cysteine, homocysteine, and protein persulfide groups. Prior work identified a novel tRNA-dependent two-step pathway for cysteine biosynthesis and a new metabolic transformation by which sulfur is inserted into aspartate semialdehyde to produce homocysteine. Homocysteine biosynthesis requires two of the three proteins previously identified in our laboratory by a comprehensive bioinformatics approach. Here, we show that the third protein identified in silico, the ApbE-like protein COG2122, facilitates sulfide assimilation in Methanosarcina acetivorans Knockout strains lacking the gene encoding COG2122 are severely impaired for growth when sulfide is provided as the sole sulfur source. However, rapid growth is recovered upon supplementation with cysteine, homocysteine, or cystathionine, suggesting that COG2122 is required for efficient biosynthesis of both cysteine and homocysteine. Deletion of the gene encoding COG2122 does not influence the extent of sulfur modifications in tRNA or the prevalence of iron-sulfur clusters, indicating that the function of COG2122 could be limited to sulfide assimilation for cysteine and homocysteine biosynthesis alone.We have found that the conserved M. acetivorans ma1715 gene, which encodes an ApbE-like protein, is required for optimal growth with sulfide as the sole sulfur source and supports both cysteine and homocysteine biosynthesis in vivo Together with related functional-genomics studies in methanogens, these findings make a key contribution to elucidating the novel pathways of sulfide assimilation and sulfur trafficking in anaerobic microorganisms that existed before the advent of oxygenic photosynthesis. The data suggest that the MA1715 protein is particularly important to sustaining robust physiological function when ambient sulfide concentrations are low. Phylogenetic analysis shows that MA1715 and other recently discovered methanogen sulfur-trafficking proteins share an evolutionary history with enzymes in the methanogenesis pathway. The newly characterized genes thus likely formed an essential part of the core metabolic machinery of the ancestral euryarchaeote.
Project description:The survival of wetland plant species largely relies on physiological adaptations essential for submergence and desiccation. Intertidal seaweeds, unlike terrestrial plants, have unique adaptations to submergence and can also sustain desiccation arising from tidal rhythms. This study determined the differential metabolic regulations in the inter-tidal seaweed species Ulva lactuca against the submergence and desiccation. During desiccation, the relative water content of the algal thalli declined with concomitant increase in reactive oxygen species (ROS) and lipid peroxidation. Nevertheless, the trends reversed during recovery on re-submergence and attained homeostasis. Metabolite profiling of U. lactuca revealed desiccation induced balance in energy reserve utilization by adjusting carbohydrate metabolism and switch over to ammonia metabolism. Upon re-submergence, thalli showed an increase in fermentative metabolites, pyruvate-alanine conversion, and the GABA shunt. Prolonged submergence induced substrate level phosphorylation mediated sugar biosynthesis while continuing the alternative carbon flux through fermentative metabolism, an increase in osmoprotectants glycine and betaine, sulfur bearing compounds cysteine and hypotaurine, and phenolic compound coniferaldehyde. The determined metabolic regulations in U. lactuca for submergence tolerance provide insights into potential evolutionarily conserved protective mechanisms across the green lineage and also highlights the possible role of sulfur oxoforms as strong free radical scavengers.
Project description:To produce high levels of ?-lactams, the filamentous fungus Penicillium rubens (previously named Penicillium chrysogenum) has been subjected to an extensive classical strain improvement (CSI) program during the last few decades. This has led to the accumulation of many mutations that were spread over the genome. Detailed analysis reveals that several mutations targeted genes that encode enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism, in particular biosynthesis of l-cysteine, one of the amino acids used for ?-lactam production. To examine the impact of the mutations on enzyme function, the respective genes with and without the mutations were cloned and expressed in Escherichia coli, purified, and enzymatically analyzed. Mutations severely impaired the activities of a threonine and serine deaminase, and this inactivates metabolic pathways that compete for l-cysteine biosynthesis. Tryptophan synthase, which converts l-serine into l-tryptophan, was inactivated by a mutation, whereas a mutation in 5-aminolevulinate synthase, which utilizes glycine, was without an effect. Importantly, CSI caused increased expression levels of a set of genes directly involved in cysteine biosynthesis. These results suggest that CSI has resulted in improved cysteine biosynthesis by the inactivation of the enzymatic conversions that directly compete for resources with the cysteine biosynthetic pathway, consistent with the notion that cysteine is a key component during penicillin production.IMPORTANCE Penicillium rubens is an important industrial producer of ?-lactam antibiotics. High levels of penicillin production were enforced through extensive mutagenesis during a classical strain improvement (CSI) program over 70 years. Several mutations targeted amino acid metabolism and resulted in enhanced l-cysteine biosynthesis. This work provides a molecular explanation for the interrelation between secondary metabolite production and amino acid metabolism and how classical strain improvement has resulted in improved production strains.
Project description:The antler regeneration has been well studied for the past two decades and adopted in the regenerative medicine model for studying on developmental biology. Despite our growing knowledge of functional molecules regulating antler regeneration, we still do not know whether antler from different deer species possess the exact same mechanism or not. Our previous comparative study between sika deer and red deer suggests that the metabolic pathways between them are profoundly different based on protein level. Therefore, the metabolomic technology is used to identify and quantify the metabolites in antler samples, providing interesting insights into differential metabolite profile of antlers between sika deer and red deer. The distinct metabolic characteristics of sika deer compared to red deer provide an opportunity to explain why the red deer antler with a larger size. The enrichment analysis of differential metabolites showed that three pathways including glycine and serine metabolism, methionine metabolism, and pterine biosynthesis had a significant difference between two antler groups.
Project description:Albomycin (ABM), also known as grisein, is a sulfur-containing metabolite produced by Streptomyces griseus ATCC 700974. Genes predicted to be involved in the biosynthesis of ABM and ABM-like molecules are found in the genomes of other actinomycetes. ABM has potent antibacterial activity, and as a result, many attempts have been made to develop ABM into a drug since the last century. Although the productivity of S. griseus can be increased with random mutagenesis methods, understanding of Streptomyces sulfur amino acid (SAA) metabolism, which supplies a precursor for ABM biosynthesis, could lead to improved and stable production. We previously characterized the gene cluster (abm) in the genome-sequenced S. griseus strain and proposed that the sulfur atom of ABM is derived from either cysteine (Cys) or homocysteine (Hcy). The gene product, AbmD, appears to be an important link between primary and secondary sulfur metabolic pathways. Here, we show that propargylglycine or iron supplementation in growth media increased ABM production by significantly changing the relative concentrations of intracellular Cys and Hcy. An SAA metabolic network of S. griseus was constructed. Pathways toward increasing Hcy were shown to positively impact ABM production. The abmD gene and five genes that increased the Hcy/Cys ratio were assembled downstream of hrdBp promoter sequences and integrated into the chromosome for overexpression. The ABM titer of one engineered strain, SCAK3, in a chemically defined medium was consistently improved to levels ?400% of the wild type. Finally, we analyzed the production and growth of SCAK3 in shake flasks for further process development.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Proliferative diabetic retinopathy (PDR), a sight-threatening retinopathy, is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in adults. Despite strict control of systemic risk factors, a fraction of patients with diabetes develop PDR, suggesting the existence of other potential pathogenic factors underlying PDR. This study aimed to investigate the plasma metabotype of patients with PDR and to identify novel metabolite markers for PDR. Biomarkers identified from this study will provide scientific insight and new strategies for the early diagnosis and intervention of diabetic retinopathy.<h4>Methods</h4>A total of 1024 patients with type 2 diabetes were screened. To match clinical parameters between case and control subjects, patients with PDR (PDR, <i>n</i>?=?21) or those with a duration of diabetes of ?10?years but without diabetic retinopathy (NDR, <i>n</i>?=?21) were assigned to the present case-control study. Distinct metabolite profiles of serum were examined using liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry (LC-MS).<h4>Results</h4>The distinct metabolites between PDR and NDR groups were significantly enriched in 9 KEGG pathways (<i>P</i>?<?0.05, impact >?0.1), namely, alanine, aspartate and glutamate metabolism, caffeine metabolism, beta-alanine metabolism, purine metabolism, cysteine and methionine metabolism, sulfur metabolism, sphingosine metabolism, and arginine and proline metabolism. A total of 63 altered metabolites played important roles in these pathways. Finally, 4 metabolites were selected as candidate biomarkers for PDR, namely, fumaric acid, uridine, acetic acid, and cytidine. The area under the curve for these biomarkers were 0.96, 0.95, 1.0, and 0.95, respectively.<h4>Conclusions</h4>This study suggested that impairment in the metabolism of pyrimidines, arginine and proline were identified as metabolic dysregulation associated with PDR. And fumaric acid, uridine, acetic acid, and cytidine might be potential biomarkers for PDR. Fumaric acid was firstly reported as a novel metabolite marker with no prior reports of association with diabetes or diabetic retinopathy, which might provide insights into potential new pathogenic pathways for diabetic retinopathy.
Project description:L-cysteine is ubiquitous in all living organisms and is involved in a variety of functions, including the synthesis of iron-sulfur clusters and glutathione and the regulation of the structure, stability, and catalysis of proteins. In the protozoan parasite Entamoeba histolytica, the causative agent of amebiasis, L-cysteine plays an essential role in proliferation, adherence, and defense against oxidative stress; however, the essentiality of this amino acid in the pathways it regulates is not well understood. In the present study, we applied capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight mass spectrometry to quantitate charged metabolites modulated in response to L-cysteine deprivation in E. histolytica, which was selected as a model for examining the biological roles of L-cysteine. L-cysteine deprivation had profound effects on glycolysis, amino acid, and phospholipid metabolism, with sharp decreases in the levels of L-cysteine, L-cystine, and S-adenosylmethionine and a dramatic accumulation of O-acetylserine and S-methylcysteine. We further demonstrated that S-methylcysteine is synthesized from methanethiol and O-acetylserine by cysteine synthase, which was previously considered to be involved in sulfur-assimilatory L-cysteine biosynthesis. In addition, L-cysteine depletion repressed glycolysis and energy generation, as it reduced acetyl-CoA, ethanol, and the major nucleotide di- and triphosphates, and led to the accumulation of glycolytic intermediates. Interestingly, L-cysteine depletion increased the synthesis of isopropanolamine and phosphatidylisopropanolamine, and it was confirmed that their increment was not a result of oxidative stress but was a specific response to L-cysteine depletion. We also identified a pathway in which isopropanolamine is synthesized from methylglyoxal via aminoacetone. To date, this study represents the first case where L-cysteine deprivation leads to drastic changes in core metabolic pathways, including energy, amino acid, and phospholipid metabolism.