[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The opportunistic pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa can utilize a variety of carbon sources and produces many secondary metabolites to help survive harsh environments. P. aeruginosa is part of a small group of bacteria that use the kynurenine pathway to catabolize tryptophan. Through the kynurenine pathway, tryptophan is broken down into anthranilate, which is further degraded into tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates or utilized to make numerous aromatic compounds, including the Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS). We have previously shown that the kynurenine pathway is a critical source of anthranilate for PQS synthesis and that the kynurenine pathway genes (kynA and kynBU) are upregulated in the presence of kynurenine. A putative Lrp/AsnC-type transcriptional regulator (gene PA2082, here called kynR), is divergently transcribed from the kynBU operon and is highly conserved in gram-negative bacteria that harbor the kynurenine pathway. We show that a mutation in kynR renders P. aeruginosa unable to utilize L-tryptophan as a sole carbon source and decreases PQS production. In addition, we found that the increase of kynA and kynB transcriptional activity in response to kynurenine was completely abolished in a kynR mutant, further indicating that KynR mediates the kynurenine-dependent expression of the kynurenine pathway genes. Finally, we found that purified KynR specifically bound the kynA promoter in the presence of kynurenine and bound the kynB promoter in the absence or presence of kynurenine. Taken together, our data show that KynR directly regulates the kynurenine pathway genes.
Journal of bacteriology 09/2011; 193(23):6567-75. · 2.69 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic human pathogen which relies on several intercellular signaling systems for optimum population density-dependent regulation of virulence genes. The Pseudomonas quinolone signal (PQS) is a 3-hydroxy-4-quinolone with a 2-alkyl substitution which is synthesized by the condensation of anthranilic acid with a 3-keto-fatty acid. The pqsABCDE operon has been identified as being necessary for PQS production, and the pqsA gene encodes a predicted protein with homology to acyl coenzyme A (acyl-CoA) ligases. In order to elucidate the first step of the 4-quinolone synthesis pathway in P. aeruginosa, we have characterized the function of the pqsA gene product. Extracts prepared from Escherichia coli expressing PqsA were shown to catalyze the formation of anthraniloyl-CoA from anthranilate, ATP, and CoA. The PqsA protein was purified as a recombinant His-tagged polypeptide, and this protein was shown to have anthranilate-CoA ligase activity. The enzyme was active on a variety of aromatic substrates, including benzoate and chloro and fluoro derivatives of anthranilate. Inhibition of PQS formation in vivo was observed for the chloro- and fluoroanthranilate derivatives, as well as for several analogs which were not PqsA enzymatic substrates. These results indicate that the PqsA protein is responsible for priming anthranilate for entry into the PQS biosynthetic pathway and that this enzyme may serve as a useful in vitro indicator for potential agents to disrupt quinolone signaling in P. aeruginosa.
Journal of bacteriology 03/2008; 190(4):1247-55. · 2.69 Impact Factor