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Front Microbiol. 2015 Mar 12;6:170. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2015.00170. eCollection 2015.

The Pseudomonas aeruginosa antimetabolite L -2-amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid (AMB) is made from glutamate and two alanine residues via a thiotemplate-linked tripeptide precursor.

Author information

1
Department of Fundamental Microbiology, University of Lausanne, Lausanne Switzerland.
2
Protein Analysis Facility, University of Lausanne, Lausanne Switzerland.
3
Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA USA.

Abstract

The Pseudomonas aeruginosa toxin L-2-amino-4-methoxy-trans-3-butenoic acid (AMB) is a non-proteinogenic amino acid which is toxic for prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Production of AMB requires a five-gene cluster encoding a putative LysE-type transporter (AmbA), two non-ribosomal peptide synthetases (AmbB and AmbE), and two iron(II)/α-ketoglutarate-dependent oxygenases (AmbC and AmbD). Bioinformatics analysis predicts one thiolation (T) domain for AmbB and two T domains (T1 and T2) for AmbE, suggesting that AMB is generated by a processing step from a precursor tripeptide assembled on a thiotemplate. Using a combination of ATP-PPi exchange assays, aminoacylation assays, and mass spectrometry-based analysis of enzyme-bound substrates and pathway intermediates, the AmbB substrate was identified to be L-alanine (L-Ala), while the T1 and T2 domains of AmbE were loaded with L-glutamate (L-Glu) and L-Ala, respectively. Loading of L-Ala at T2 of AmbE occurred only in the presence of AmbB, indicative of a trans loading mechanism. In vitro assays performed with AmbB and AmbE revealed the dipeptide L-Glu-L-Ala at T1 and the tripeptide L-Ala-L-Glu-L-Ala attached at T2. When AmbC and AmbD were included in the assay, these peptides were no longer detected. Instead, an L-Ala-AMB-L-Ala tripeptide was found at T2. These data are in agreement with a biosynthetic model in which L-Glu is converted into AMB by the action of AmbC, AmbD, and tailoring domains of AmbE. The importance of the flanking L-Ala residues in the precursor tripeptide is discussed.

KEYWORDS:

Pseudomonas; oxyvinylglycine; secondary metabolite; thiotemplate; toxin

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