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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Dec 5;229(1):1-7.

The cis-trans isomerase of unsaturated fatty acids in Pseudomonas and Vibrio: biochemistry, molecular biology and physiological function of a unique stress adaptive mechanism.

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  • 1Department of Bioremediation, Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) Leipzig-Halle, Permoserstr 15, 04318 Leipzig, Germany. hermann.heipieper@ufz.de

Abstract

Isomerization of cis to trans unsaturated fatty acids is a mechanism enabling Gram-negative bacteria belonging to the genera Pseudomonas and Vibrio to adapt to several forms of environmental stress. The extent of the isomerization apparently correlates with the fluidity effects caused, i.e. by an increase in temperature or the accumulation of membrane-toxic organic compounds. Trans fatty acids are generated by direct isomerization of the respective cis configuration of the double bond without a shift of its position. The conversion of cis unsaturated fatty acids to trans is apparently instrumental in the adaptation of membrane fluidity to changing chemical or physical parameters of the cellular environment. Such an adaptive mechanism appears to be an alternative way to regulate membrane fluidity when growth is inhibited, e.g. by high concentrations of toxic substances. The cis-trans isomerase (Cti) activity is constitutively present and is located in the periplasma, it requires neither ATP nor any other cofactor such as NAD(P)H or glutathione, and it operates in the absence of de novo synthesis of lipids. Its independence from ATP is in agreement with the negative free energy of the reaction. cti encodes a polypeptide with an N-terminal hydrophobic signal sequence, which is cleaved off during or shortly after the enzyme is transported across the cytoplasmic membrane to the periplasmic space. A functional heme-binding site of the cytochrome c-type was identified in the predicted Cti polypeptide and very recently, direct evidence was obtained that isomerization does not include a transient saturation of the double bond.

PMID:
14659535
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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