JOURNAL ARTICLE

Poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) degradation in Ralstonia eutropha H16 is mediated stereoselectively to (S)-3-hydroxybutyryl coenzyme A (CoA) via crotonyl-CoA

Jessica Eggers, Alexander Steinbüchel
Journal of Bacteriology 2013, 195 (14): 3213-23
23667237
Degradation of poly(3-hydroxybutyrate) (PHB) by the thiolytic activity of the PHB depolymerase PhaZ1 from Ralstonia eutropha H16 was analyzed in the presence of different phasins. An Escherichia coli strain was constructed that harbored the genes for PHB synthesis (phaCAB), the phasin PhaP1, and the PHB depolymerase PhaZ1. PHB was isolated in the native form (nPHB) from this recombinant E. coli strain, and the in vitro degradation of the polyester was examined. Degradation resulted in the formation of the expected 3-hydroxybutyryl coenzyme A (3HB-CoA) and in the formation of a second product, which occurred in significantly higher concentrations than 3HB-CoA. This second product was identified by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC-MS) as crotonyl-CoA. Replacement of PhaP1 by PhaP2 or PhaP4 resulted in a lower degradation rate, whereas the absence of the phasins prevented the degradation of nPHB by the PHB depolymerase PhaZ1 almost completely. In addition, the in vitro degradation of nPHB granules isolated from R. eutropha H16 (wild type) and from the R. eutropha ΔphaP1 and ΔphaP1-4 deletion mutants was examined. In contrast to the results obtained with nPHB granules isolated from E. coli, degradation of nPHB granules isolated from the wild type of R. eutropha yielded high concentrations of 3HB-CoA and low concentrations of crotonyl-CoA. The degradation of nPHB granules isolated from the ΔphaP1 and ΔphaP1-4 deletion mutants of R. eutropha was significantly reduced in comparison to that of nPHB granules isolated from wild-type R. eutropha. Stereochemical analyses of 3HB-CoA revealed that the (R) stereoisomer was collected after degradation of granules isolated from E. coli, whereas the (S) stereoisomer was collected after degradation of granules isolated from R. eutropha. Based on these results, a newly observed mechanism in the degradation pathway for PHB in R. eutropha is proposed which is connected by crotonyl-CoA to the β-oxidation cycle. According to this model, the NADPH-dependent synthesis of PHB with (R)-3HB-CoA as the intermediate and the PHB degradation yielding (S)-3HB-CoA, which is further converted in an NAD-dependent reaction, are separated.

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