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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Comparative Genomics of Regulation of Fatty Acid and Branched-chain Amino Acid Utilization in Proteobacteria

  • Author(s): Kazakov, Alexey E.
  • Rodionov, Dmitry A.
  • Arkin, Adam Paul
  • Dubchak, Inna
  • Gelfand, Mikhail S.
  • Alm, Eric
  • et al.

Bacteria can use branched-chain amino acids (ILV, i.e. isoleucine, leucine, valine) and fatty acids (FA) as sole carbon and energy sources convering ILV into acetyl-CoA, propanoyl-CoA and propionyl-CoA, respectively. In this work, we used the comparative genomic approach to identify candidate transcriptional factors and DNA motifs that control ILV and FA utilization pathways in proteobacteria. The metabolic regulons were characterized based on the identification and comparison of candidate transcription factor binding sites in groups of phylogenetically related genomes. The reconstructed ILV/FA regulatory network demonstrates considerable variability and involves six transcriptional factors from the MerR, TetR and GntR families binding to eleven distinct DNA motifs. The ILV degradation genes in gamma- and beta-proteobacteria are mainly regulated by a novel regulator from the MerR family (e.g., LiuR in Pseudomonas aeruginosa) (40 species), in addition, the TetR-type regulator LiuQ was identified in some beta-proteobacteria (8 species). Besides the core set of ILV utilization genes, the LiuR regulon in some lineages is expanded to include genes from other metabolic pathways, such as the glyoxylate shunt and glutamate synthase in the Shewanella species. The FA degradation genes are controlled by four regulators including FadR in gamma-proteobacteria (34 species), PsrA in gamma- and beta-proteobacteria (45 species), FadP in beta-proteobacteria (14 species), and LiuR orthologs in alpha-proteobacteria (22 species). The remarkable variability of the regulatory systems associated with the FA degradation pathway is discussed from the functional and evolutionary points of view.

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