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Mol Microbiol. 2011 Oct;82(2):489-501. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07826.x. Epub 2011 Sep 19.

Identification of a conserved protein involved in anaerobic unsaturated fatty acid synthesis in Neiserria gonorrhoeae: implications for facultative and obligate anaerobes that lack FabA.

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1
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of Rochester, Box 672, 601 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14642, USA.

Abstract

Transcriptome analysis of the facultative anaerobe, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, revealed that many genes of unknown function were induced under anaerobic conditions. Mutation of one such gene, NGO1024, encoding a protein belonging to the 2-nitropropane dioxygenase-like superfamily of proteins, was found to result in an inability of gonococci to grow anaerobically. Anaerobic growth of an NG1024 mutant was restored upon supplementation with unsaturated fatty acids (UFA), but not with the saturated fatty acid palmitate. Gonococcal fatty acid profiles confirmed that NGO1024 was involved in UFA synthesis anaerobically, but not aerobically, demonstrating that gonococci contain two distinct pathways for the production of UFAs, with a yet unidentified aerobic mechanism, and an anaerobic mechanism involving NGO1024. Expression of genes involved in classical anaerobic UFA synthesis, fabA, fabM and fabB, was toxic in gonococci and unable to complement a NGO1024 mutation, suggesting that the chemistry involved in gonococcal anaerobic UFA synthesis is distinct from that of the classical pathway. NGO1024 homologues, which we suggest naming UfaA, form a distinct lineage within the 2-nitropropane dioxygenase-like superfamily, and are found in many facultative and obligate anaerobes that produce UFAs but lack fabA, suggesting that UfaA is part of a widespread pathway involved in UFA synthesis.

PMID:
21895795
PMCID:
PMC3192263
DOI:
10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07826.x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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