Fatty acid biosynthesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa is initiated by the faby class of β-ketoacyl acyl carrier protein synthases

Yanqiu Yuan, Meena Sachdeva, Jennifer A. Leeds, Timothy C. Meredith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


The prototypical type II fatty acid synthesis (FAS) pathway in bacteria utilizes two distinct classes of β-ketoacyl synthase (KAS) domains to assemble long-chain fatty acids, the KASIII domain for initiation and the KASI/II domain for elongation. The central role of FAS in bacterial viability and virulence has stimulated significant effort toward developing KAS inhibitors, particularly against the KASIII domain of the β-acetoacetyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) synthase FabH. Herein, we show that the opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa does not utilize a FabH ortholog but rather a new class of divergent KAS I/II enzymes to initiate the FAS pathway. When a P. aeruginosa cosmid library was used to rescue growth in a fabH downregulated strain of Escherichia coli, a single unannotated open reading frame, PA5174, complemented fabH depletion. While deletion of all four KASIII domain-encoding genes in the same P. aeruginosa strain resulted in a wild-type growth phenotype, deletion of PA5174 alone specifically attenuated growth due to a defect in de novo FAS. Siderophore secretion and quorum-sensing signaling, particularly in the rhl and Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) systems, was significantly muted in the absence of PA5174. The defect could be repaired by intergeneric complementation with E. coli fabH. Characterization of recombinant PA5174 confirmed a preference for short-chain acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) substrates, supporting the identification of PA5174 as the predominant enzyme catalyzing the condensation of acetyl coenzyme A with malonyl-ACP in P. aeruginosa. The identification of the functional role for PA5174 in FAS defines the new FabY class of β-ketoacyl synthase KASI/II domain condensation enzymes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5171-5184
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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