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J Bacteriol. 1998 Sep;180(17):4481-6.

Characterization of beta-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein synthase III from Streptomyces glaucescens and its role in initiation of fatty acid biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Institute for Structural Biology and Drug Discovery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia 23219, USA.


The Streptomyces glaucescens fabH gene, encoding beta-ketoacyl-acyl carrier protein (beta-ketoacyl-ACP) synthase (KAS) III (FabH), was overexpressed in Escherichia coli, and the resulting gene product was purified to homogeneity by metal chelate chromatography. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the purified protein revealed an Mr of 37,000, while gel filtration analysis determined a native Mr of 72,000 +/- 3,000 (mean +/- standard deviation), indicating that the enzyme is homodimeric. The purified recombinant protein demonstrated both KAS activity and acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA):ACP transacylase (ACAT) activity in a 1:0.12 ratio. The KAS and ACAT activities were both sensitive to thiolactomycin inhibition. The KAS activity of the protein demonstrated a Km value of 3.66 microM for the malonyl-ACP substrate and an unusual broad specificity for acyl-CoA substrates, with Km values of 2.4 microM for acetyl-CoA, 0.71 microM for butyryl-CoA, and 0.41 microM for isobutyryl-CoA. These data suggest that the S. glaucescens FabH is responsible for initiating both straight- and branched-chain fatty acid biosynthesis in Streptomyces and that the ratio of the various fatty acids produced by this organism will be dictated by the ratios of the various acyl-CoA substrates that can react with FabH. Results from a series of in vivo directed biosynthetic experiments in which the ratio of these acyl-CoA substrates was varied are consistent with this hypothesis. An additional set of in vivo experiments using thiolactomycin provides support for the role of FabH and further suggests that a FabH-independent pathway for straight-chain fatty acid biosynthesis operates in S. glaucescens.

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