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Mycolic acid biosynthesis and enzymic characterization of the beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase A-condensing enzyme from Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Laurent Kremer, Dr Lynn Dover, Dr Severine Carrere, Dr Madhavan Nampoothiri, Dr Alistair BrownORCiD, Professor David Minnikin, Professor Del Besra


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Mycolic acids consist of long-chain alpha-alkyl-beta-hydroxy fatty acids that are produced by successive rounds of elongation catalysed by a type II fatty acid synthase (FAS-II). A key feature in the elongation process is the condensation of a two-carbon unit from malonyl-acyl-carrier protein (ACP) to a growing acyl-ACP chain catalysed by a beta-ketoacyl-ACP synthase (Kas). In the present study, we provide evidence that kasA from Mycobacterium tuberculosis encodes an enzyme that elongates in vivo the meromycolate chain, in both Mycobacterium smegmatis and Mycobacterium chelonae. We demonstrate that KasA belongs to the FAS-II system, which utilizes primarily palmitoyl-ACP rather than short-chain acyl-ACP primers. Furthermore, in an in vitro condensing assay using purified recombinant KasA, palmitoyl-AcpM and malonyl-AcpM, KasA was found to express Kas activity. Also, mutated KasA proteins, with mutation of Cys(171), His(311), Lys(340) and His(345) to Ala abrogated the condensation activity of KasA in vitro completely. Finally, purified KasA was highly sensitive to cerulenin, a well-known inhibitor of Kas, which may lead to the development of novel anti-mycobacterial drugs targeting KasA.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Kremer L, Dover LG, Carrere S, Nampoothiri KM, Lesjean S, Brown AK, Brennan PJ, Minnikin DE, Locht C, Besra GS

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Biochemical Journal

Year: 2002

Volume: 364

Pages: 423-430

ISSN (print): 0264-6021

ISSN (electronic): 1470-8728

Publisher: Portland Press Ltd.


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