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Biochemistry. 2011 Mar 8;50(9):1442-53. doi: 10.1021/bi101932s. Epub 2011 Feb 14.

Solution structure of 4'-phosphopantetheine - GmACP3 from Geobacter metallireducens: a specialized acyl carrier protein with atypical structural features and a putative role in lipopolysaccharide biosynthesis.

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Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio 45056, United States.


GmACP3 from Geobacter metallireducens is a specialized acyl carrier protein (ACP) whose gene, gmet_2339, is located near genes encoding many proteins involved in lipopolysaccharide (LPS) biosynthesis, indicating a likely function for GmACP3 in LPS production. By overexpression in Escherichia coli, about 50% holo-GmACP3 and 50% apo-GmACP3 were obtained. Apo-GmACP3 exhibited slow precipitation and non-monomeric behavior by (15)N NMR relaxation measurements. Addition of 4'-phosphopantetheine (4'-PP) via enzymatic conversion by E. coli holo-ACP synthase resulted in stable >95% holo-GmACP3 that was characterized as monomeric by (15)N relaxation measurements and had no indication of conformational exchange. We have determined a high-resolution solution structure of holo-GmACP3 by standard NMR methods, including refinement with two sets of NH residual dipolar couplings, allowing for a detailed structural analysis of the interactions between 4'-PP and GmACP3. Whereas the overall four helix bundle topology is similar to previously solved ACP structures, this structure has unique characteristics, including an ordered 4'-PP conformation that places the thiol at the entrance to a central hydrophobic cavity near a conserved hydrogen-bonded Trp-His pair. These residues are part of a conserved WDSLxH/N motif found in GmACP3 and its orthologs. The helix locations and the large hydrophobic cavity are more similar to medium- and long-chain acyl-ACPs than to other apo- and holo-ACP structures. Taken together, structural characterization along with bioinformatic analysis of nearby genes suggests that GmACP3 is involved in lipid A acylation, possibly by atypical long-chain hydroxy fatty acids, and potentially is involved in synthesis of secondary metabolites.

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