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Biochemistry. 2002 Aug 20;41(33):10462-71.

Enzymes involved in fatty acid and polyketide biosynthesis in Streptomyces glaucescens: role of FabH and FabD and their acyl carrier protein specificity.

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


Malonyl acyl carrier protein (ACP) is used as an extender unit in each of the elongation steps catalyzed by the type II dissociated fatty acid synthase (FAS) and polyketide synthase (PKS) of Streptomyces glaucescens. Initiation of straight-chain fatty acid biosynthesis by the type II FAS involves a direct condensation of acetyl-CoA with this malonyl-ACP to generate a 3-ketobutyryl-ACP product and is catalyzed by FabH. In vitro experiments with a reconstituted type II PKS system in the absence of FabH have previously shown that the acetyl-ACP (generated by decarboxylation of malonyl-ACP), not acetyl-CoA, is used to initiate tetracenomycin C (TCM C) biosynthesis. We have shown that sgFabH activity is present in S. glaucescens fermentations during TCM C production, suggesting that it could contribute to initiation of TCM C biosynthesis in vivo. Isotope incorporation studies with [CD3]acetate and [13CD3]acetate demonstrated significant intact retention of three deuteriums into the starter unit of palmitate and complete washout of deuterium label into the starter unit of TCM C. These observations provide evidence that acetyl-CoA is not used directly as a starter unit for TCM C biosynthesis in vivo and argue against an involvement of FabH in this process. Consistent with this conclusion, assays of the purified recombinant sgFabH with acetyl-CoA demonstrated activity using malonyl-ACP generated from either FabC (the S. glaucescens FAS ACP) (k(cat) 42.2 min(-1), K(m) 4.5 +/- 0.3 microM) or AcpP (the E. coli FAS ACP) (k(cat) 7.5 min(-1), K(m) 6.3 +/- 0.3 microM) but not TcmM (the S. glaucescens PKS ACP). In contrast, the sgFabD which catalyzes conversion of malonyl-CoA to malonyl-ACP for fatty acid biosynthesis was shown to be active with TcmM (k(cat) 150 min(-1), K(m) 12.2 +/- 1.2 microM), AcpP (k(cat) 141 min(-1), K(m) 13.2 +/- 1.6 microM), and FabC (k(cat) 560 min(-1), K(m) 12.7 +/- 2.6 microM). This enzyme was shown to be present during TCM C production and could play a role in generating malonyl-ACP for both processes. Previous demonstrations that the purified PKS ACPs catalyze self-malonylation and that a FabD activity is not required for polyketide biosynthesis are shown to be an artifact of the expression and purification protocols. The relaxed ACP specificity of FabD and the lack of a clear alternative are consistent with a role of FabD in providing malonyl-ACP precursors for PKS as well as FAS processes. In contrast, the ACP specificity of FabH, isotope labeling studies, and a demonstrated alternative mechanism for initiation of the PKS process provide unequivocal evidence that FabH is involved only in the FAS process.

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