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J Biol Chem. 1977 Aug 25;252(16):5735-9.

Mycobacterium smegmatis fatty acid synthetase. Long chain transacylase chain length specificity.


Long chain transacylase activity, acyl-CoA + enzyme in equilibrium acyl-enzyme + CoA, catalyzed by the multienzyme complex fatty acid synthetase from Mycobacterium smegmatis was measured by exchange of radioactive coenzyme A into even numbered fatty acyl-CoA substrates 14 to 24 carbon atoms long. This transacylase activity decreases sharply with increasing chain length. It is suggested that C24 transacylation may be rate-limiting in de novo fatty acid synthesis catalyzed by the myocobacterial system. Mycobacterial polysaccharides stimulate the rate of transacylation, and this enhancement becomes more marked as the chain length of the substrate increases. The magnitude of the effect is similar to polysaccharide stimulation of overall synthetase activity. It is therefore proposed that terminal transacylation is the specific and perhaps only partial reaction catalyzed by the M. smegmatis fatty acid synthetase which is facilitated by polysaccharide. The product distribution of the synthetase is distinctly bimodal, with peaks for acyl chains 16 and 24 carbon atoms long. A scheme based on nonoverlapping unimodal chain length specificities for the rates of two activities, elongation and terminal transacylation, is offered to explain this bimodal distribution.

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