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J Bacteriol. 2013 May;195(9):2087-100. doi: 10.1128/JB.02205-12. Epub 2013 Mar 1.

Gene PA2449 is essential for glycine metabolism and pyocyanin biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1.

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Department of Chemistry, State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Syracuse, New York, USA.


Many pseudomonads produce redox active compounds called phenazines that function in a variety of biological processes. Phenazines are well known for their toxicity against non-phenazine-producing organisms, which allows them to serve as crucial biocontrol agents and virulence factors during infection. As for other secondary metabolites, conditions of nutritional stress or limitation stimulate the production of phenazines, but little is known of the molecular details underlying this phenomenon. Using a combination of microarray and metabolite analyses, we demonstrate that the assimilation of glycine as a carbon source and the biosynthesis of pyocyanin in Pseudomonas aeruginosa PAO1 are both dependent on the PA2449 gene. The inactivation of the PA2449 gene was found to influence the transcription of a core set of genes encoding a glycine cleavage system, serine hydroxymethyltransferase, and serine dehydratase. PA2449 also affected the transcription of several genes that are integral in cell signaling and pyocyanin biosynthesis in P. aeruginosa PAO1. This study sheds light on the unexpected relationship between the utilization of an unfavorable carbon source and the production of pyocyanin. PA2449 is conserved among pseudomonads and might be universally involved in the assimilation of glycine among this metabolically diverse group of bacteria.

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