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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Mar 5;208(2):153-62.

Rhizobial acyl carrier proteins and their roles in the formation of bacterial cell-surface components that are required for the development of nitrogen-fixing root nodules on legume hosts.

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Centro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo. Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos CP62210, Mexico.


Acyl carrier protein (ACP) of Escherichia coli is a small acidic protein which functions as carrier of growing acyl chains during their biosynthesis and as donor of acyl chains during transfer to target molecules. This unique ACP of E. coli is expressed constitutively. In more complex bacteria, multiple ACPs are present, indicating a channeling of pools of multi-carbon units into different biosynthetic routes. In rhizobia, for example, besides the constitutive ACP (AcpP) involved in the biosynthesis and transfer of common fatty acids, three specialized ACPs have been reported: (1) the flavonoid-inducible nodulation protein NodF, (2) AcpXL that transfers 27-hydroxyoctacosanoic acid to a sugar backbone during lipid A biosynthesis, and (3) the RkpF protein which is required for the biosynthesis of rhizobial capsular polysaccharides. All three of those specialized rhizobial ACPs are required for the biosynthesis of cell-surface molecules that play a role in establishing the symbiotic relationship between rhizobia and their legume hosts. Surprisingly, the recently sequenced genomes from Mesorhizobium loti and Sinorhizobium meliloti suggest even more candidates for ACPs in rhizobia.

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