Send to

Choose Destination
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Jun 19;104(25):10631-6. Epub 2007 Jun 4.

Synthesis of C5-dicarboxylic acids from C2-units involving crotonyl-CoA carboxylase/reductase: the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway.

Author information

Mikrobiologie, Institut für Biologie II, Fakultät für Chemie, Pharmazie und Geowissenschaften, Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Schänzlestrasse 1, 79104 Freiburg, Germany.


Fifty years ago, Kornberg and Krebs established the glyoxylate cycle as the pathway for the synthesis of cell constituents from C2-units. However, since then, many bacteria have been described that do not contain isocitrate lyase, the key enzyme of this pathway. Here, a pathway termed the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway operating in such organisms is described. Isotopically labeled acetate and bicarbonate were transformed to ethylmalonyl-CoA by cell extracts of acetate-grown, isocitrate lyase-negative Rhodobacter sphaeroides as determined by NMR spectroscopy. Crotonyl-CoA carboxylase/reductase, catalyzing crotonyl-CoA + CO2 + NADPH --> ethylmalonyl-CoA- + NADP+ was identified as the key enzyme of the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway. The reductive carboxylation of an enoyl-thioester is a unique biochemical reaction, unprecedented in biology. The enzyme from R. sphaeroides was heterologously produced in Escherichia coli and characterized. Crotonyl-CoA carboxylase/reductase (or its gene) can be used as a marker for the presence of the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway, which functions not only in acetyl-CoA assimilation. In Streptomyces sp., it may also supply precursors (ethylmalonyl-CoA) for antibiotic biosynthesis. For methylotrophic bacteria such as Methylobacterium extorquens, extension of the serine cycle with reactions of the ethylmalonyl-CoA pathway leads to a simplified scheme for isocitrate lyase-independent C1 assimilation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center