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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2012 Mar;93(6):2493-502. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3771-8. Epub 2011 Dec 10.

Biotin protein ligase from Corynebacterium glutamicum: role for growth and L: -lysine production.

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Genetics of Prokaryotes, Faculty of Biology and CeBiTec, Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany.


Corynebacterium glutamicum is a biotin auxotrophic Gram-positive bacterium that is used for large-scale production of amino acids, especially of L-glutamate and L-lysine. It is known that biotin limitation triggers L-glutamate production and that L-lysine production can be increased by enhancing the activity of pyruvate carboxylase, one of two biotin-dependent proteins of C. glutamicum. The gene cg0814 (accession number YP_225000) has been annotated to code for putative biotin protein ligase BirA, but the protein has not yet been characterized. A discontinuous enzyme assay of biotin protein ligase activity was established using a 105aa peptide corresponding to the carboxyterminus of the biotin carboxylase/biotin carboxyl carrier protein subunit AccBC of the acetyl CoA carboxylase from C. glutamicum as acceptor substrate. Biotinylation of this biotin acceptor peptide was revealed with crude extracts of a strain overexpressing the birA gene and was shown to be ATP dependent. Thus, birA from C. glutamicum codes for a functional biotin protein ligase (EC The gene birA from C. glutamicum was overexpressed and the transcriptome was compared with the control strain revealing no significant gene expression changes of the bio-genes. However, biotin protein ligase overproduction increased the level of the biotin-containing protein pyruvate carboxylase and entailed a significant growth advantage in glucose minimal medium. Moreover, birA overexpression resulted in a twofold higher L-lysine yield on glucose as compared with the control strain.

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