Unlike most other bacteria, mycobacteria make fatty acids with the multidomain enzyme eukaryote-like fatty acid synthase I (FASI). Previous studies have demonstrated that the tuberculosis drug pyrazinamide and 5-chloro-pyrazinamide target FASI activity. Biochemical studies have revealed that in addition to C16:0, Mycobacterium tuberculosis FASI synthesizes C26:0 fatty acid, while the Mycobacterium smegmatis enzyme makes C24:0 fatty acid. In order to express M. tuberculosis FASI in a rapidly growing Mycobacterium and to characterize the M. tuberculosis FASI in vivo, we constructed an M. smegmatis Δfas1 strain which contained the M. tuberculosis fas1 homologue. The M. smegmatis Δfas1 (attB::M. tuberculosis fas1) strain grew more slowly than the parental M. smegmatis strain and was more susceptible to 5-chloro-pyrazinamide. Surprisingly, while the M. smegmatis Δfas1 (attB::M. tuberculosis fas1) strain produced C 26:0, it predominantly produced C24:0. These results suggest that the fatty acid elongation that produces C24:0 or C 26:0 in vivo is due to a complex interaction among FASI, FabH, and FASII and possibly other systems and is not solely due to FASI elongation, as previously suggested by in vitro studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology