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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Fatty acid biosynthesis in Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin. Purification and characterization of a novel fatty acid synthase, mycocerosic acid synthase, which elongates n-fatty acyl-CoA with methylmalonyl-CoA.

A crude extract from Mycobacterium tuberculosis var. bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin was previously shown to incorporate methylmalonyl-CoA into mycocerosic acids, exemplified by 2,4,6,8-tetramethyloctacosanoic acid, and malonyl-CoA into n-fatty acids (Rainwater D. L., and Kolattukudy, P. E. (1983) J. Biol. Chem. 258, 2979-2985). The presence of several fatty acid synthases with differences in substrate preference and product chain length was detected in the crude extract of M. tuberculosis var. bovis. Among them was a mycocerosic acid synthase which was purified to homogeneity using anion-exchange chromatography, gel filtration, affinity chromatography, and hydroxylapatite chromatography. This fatty acid synthase elongated long-chain fatty acyl-CoA primers using methylmalonyl-CoA and NADPH to produce multimethyl-branched mycocerosic acids. The enzyme was specific for methylmalonyl-CoA and would not incorporate malonyl-CoA into fatty acids. It elongated n-C6 to n-C20 CoA esters to generate primarily the corresponding tetramethyl-branched mycocerosic acids. Exogenous [1-14C]acyl-CoA and trideuteromethylmalonyl-CoA were incorporated into the multimethyl-branched fatty acids. Dodecyl sulfate electrophoresis showed that the enzyme had a molecular weight of 238,000, whereas gel filtration showed a native molecular weight of 490,000, indicating that the enzyme is composed of two monomers of identical molecular weight. The enzyme contained an acyl carrier protein-like segment as indicated by incorporation of [1-14C] pantothenate into the 238-kDa protein and production of 1 mol of taurine/mol of the monomer upon hydrolysis of performic acid-oxidized enzyme. It is concluded that the mycocerosic acid synthase is a multifunctional enzyme similar to the well-characterized multifunctional fatty acid synthases except for the substrate specificity.[1]


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