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J Bacteriol. 2010 Aug;192(15):4037-44. doi: 10.1128/JB.00386-10. Epub 2010 May 28.

Revisiting the assignment of Rv0241c to fatty acid synthase type II of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

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Département Mécanismes Moléculaires des Infections Mycobactériennes, CNRS/IPBS Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale, 205 Route de Narbonne, F-31077 Toulouse, France.


The fatty acid synthase type II enzymatic complex of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (FAS-II(Mt)) catalyzes an essential metabolic pathway involved in the biosynthesis of major envelope lipids, mycolic acids. The partner proteins of this singular FAS-II system represent relevant targets for antituberculous drug design. Two heterodimers of the hydratase 2 protein family, HadAB and HadBC, were shown to be involved in the (3R)-hydroxyacyl-ACP dehydration (HAD) step of FAS-II(Mt) cycles. Recently, an additional member of this family, Rv0241c, was proposed to have the same function, based on the heterologous complementation of a HAD mutant of the yeast mitochondrial FAS-II system. In the present work, Rv0241c was able to complement a HAD mutant in the Escherichia coli model but not a dehydratase-isomerase deficient mutant. However, an enzymatic study of the purified protein demonstrated that Rv0241c possesses a broad chain length specificity for the substrate, unlike FAS-II(Mt) enzymes. Most importantly, Rv0241c exhibited a strict dependence on the coenzyme A (CoA) as opposed to AcpM, the natural acyl carrier protein bearing the chains elongated by FAS-II(Mt). The deletion of Rv0241c showed that this gene is not essential to M. tuberculosis survival in vitro. The resulting mutant did not display any change in the mycolic acid profile. This demonstrates that Rv0241c is a trans-2-enoyl-CoA hydratase/3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydratase that does not belong to FAS-II(Mt). The relevance of a heterologous complementation strategy to identifying proteins of such a system is questioned.

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