Mesaconase Activity of Class I Fumarase Contributes to Mesaconate Utilization by Burkholderia xenovorans.

Applied and environmental microbiology

PubMedID: 26070669

Kronen M, Sasikaran J, Berg IA. Mesaconase Activity of Class I Fumarase Contributes to Mesaconate Utilization by Burkholderia xenovorans. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015;.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Yersinia pestis, and many other bacteria are able to utilize the C5-dicarboxylic acid itaconate (methylenesuccinate). Itaconate degradation starts with its activation to itaconyl coenzyme A (itaconyl-CoA), which is further hydrated to (S)-citramalyl-CoA, and citramalyl-CoA is finally cleaved into acetyl-CoA and pyruvate. The xenobiotic-degrading betaproteobacterium Burkholderia xenovorans possesses a P. aeruginosa-like itaconate degradation gene cluster and is able to grow on itaconate and its isomer mesaconate (methylfumarate). Although itaconate degradation proceeds in B. xenovorans in the same way as in P. aeruginosa, the pathway of mesaconate utilization is not known. Here, we show that mesaconate is metabolized through its hydration to (S)-citramalate. The latter compound is then metabolized to acetyl-CoA and pyruvate with the participation of two enzymes of the itaconate degradation pathway, a promiscuous itaconate-CoA transferase able to activate (S)-citramalate in addition to itaconate and (S)-citramalyl-CoA lyase. The first reaction of the pathway, the mesaconate hydratase (mesaconase) reaction, is catalyzed by a class I fumarase. As this enzyme (Bxe_A3136) has similar efficiencies (kcat/Km) for both fumarate and mesaconate hydration, we conclude that B. xenovorans class I fumarase is in fact a promiscuous fumarase/mesaconase. This promiscuity is physiologically relevant, as it allows the growth of this bacterium on mesaconate as a sole carbon and energy source.