Fatty acid biosynthesis is enhanced in Escherichia coli strains with deletion in genes encoding the PII signaling proteins
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The committed and rate-limiting step in fatty acid biosynthesis is catalyzed by acetyl-CoA carboxylase (ACC). In previous studies we showed that ACC activity is inhibited through interactions with the PII signaling proteins in vitro. Here we provide in vivo support for that model; we noted that PII proteins are able to reduce malonyl-CoA levels in vivo in Escherichia coli. Furthermore, we show that fatty acid biosynthesis is strongly enhanced in E. coli strains carrying deletions in PII coding genes. Given that PII proteins act as conserved negative regulators of ACC in Bacteria, our findings may be explored to engineer other prokaryotes to improve fatty acid yields, thereby turning microbial biofuel production economically competitive in the future.
KeywordsAcetyl-CoA carboxylase PII proteins Free fatty acids Microbial biofuels Metabolic engineering
This work was supported by CNPq and CAPES. We are grateful to Prof. Mike Merrick (John Innes Centre), Prof. Brian F. Pfleger (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and Prof. Hugo Gramajo (University of Rosario) for providing strains and plasmids used in this work.
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