Pseudomonas aeruginosa directly shunts β-oxidation degradation intermediates into de novo fatty acid biosynthesis

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

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46 Scopus citations


We identified the fatty acid synthesis (FAS) initiation enzyme in Pseudomonas aeruginosa as FabY, a β-ketoacyl synthase KASI/II domain-containing enzyme that condenses acetyl coenzyme A (acetyl-CoA) with malonyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) to make the FAS primer β-acetoacetyl-ACP in the accompanying article (Y. Yuan, M. Sachdeva, J. A. Leeds, and T. C. Meredith, J. Bacteriol. 194:5171-5184, 2012). Herein, we show that growth defects stemming from deletion of fabY can be suppressed by supplementation of the growth media with exogenous decanoate fatty acid, suggesting a compensatory mechanism. Fatty acids eight carbons or longer rescue growth by generating acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) thioester β-oxidation degradation intermediates that are shunted into FAS downstream of FabY. Using a set of perdeuterated fatty acid feeding experiments, we show that the open reading frame PA3286 in P. aeruginosa PAO1 intercepts C8-CoA by condensation with malonyl-ACP to make the FAS intermediate β-keto decanoyl-ACP. This key intermediate can then be extended to supply all of the cellular fatty acid needs, including both unsaturated and saturated fatty acids, along with the 3-hydroxyl fatty acid acyl groups of lipopolysaccharide. Heterologous PA3286 expression in Escherichia coli likewise established the fatty acid shunt, and characterization of recombinant β-keto acyl synthase enzyme activity confirmed in vitro substrate specificity for medium-chain-length acyl CoA thioester acceptors. The potential for the PA3286 shunt in P. aeruginosa to curtail the efficacy of inhibitors targeting FabY, an enzyme required for FAS initiation in the absence of exogenous fatty acids, is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5185-5196
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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