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Chem Biol. 1998 Mar;5(3):135-46.

Heterologously expressed acyl carrier protein domain of rat fatty acid synthase functions in Escherichia coli fatty acid synthase and Streptomyces coelicolor polyketide synthase systems.

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Genetics and Microbiology Department, Institute of Food Research, Colney, UK.



Fatty acid synthases (FASs) catalyze the de novo biosynthesis of long-chain saturated fatty acids by a process common to eubacteria and eukaryotes, using either a set of monofunctional proteins (Type II FAS) or a polypeptide containing several catalytic functions (Type I FAS). To compare the features of a Type I domain with its Type II counterpart we expressed and characterized an acyl carrier protein (ACP) domain of the Type I rat FAS.


An ACP domain of rat FAS was defined that allows expression of a small percentage of active holo-ACP both in Escherichia coli, increasing fivefold upon co-expression with an E. coli holo-ACP synthase, and in Streptomyces coelicolor. The rat ACP domain functions with some components of the E. coli FAS, and can replace the actinorhodin polyketide synthase (PKS) ACP in S. coelicolorA3(2). Purification of the rat ACP domain from E. coli resulted in loss of its functionality. Purified apo-ACP could be converted to its holo-form upon incubation with purified E. coli holo-ACP synthase in vitro, however, suggesting that the loss of functionality was not due to a conformational change.


Functionality of the recombinant rat ACP was shown in distantly related and diverse enzyme systems, suggesting that Type I and Type II ACPs have a similar conformation. A procedure was described that might permit the production of rat FAS holo-ACP for structural and further biochemical characterization.

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