Pimelic acid, the first precursor of the Bacillus subtilis biotin synthesis pathway, exists as the free acid and is assembled by fatty acid synthesis

Miglena Manandhar, John E. Cronan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biotin synthetic pathways are readily separated into two stages, synthesis of the seven carbon α, ω-dicarboxylic acid pimelate moiety and assembly of the fused heterocyclic rings. The biotin pathway genes responsible for pimelate moiety synthesis vary widely among bacteria whereas the ring synthesis genes are highly conserved. Bacillus subtilis seems to have redundant genes, bioI and bioW, for generation of the pimelate intermediate. Largely consistent with previous genetic studies it was found that deletion of bioW caused a biotin auxotrophic phenotype whereas deletion of bioI did not. BioW is a pimeloyl-CoA synthetase that converts pimelic acid to pimeloyl-CoA. The essentiality of BioW for biotin synthesis indicates that the free form of pimelic acid is an intermediate in biotin synthesis although this is not the case in E. coli. Since the origin of pimelic acid in Bacillus subtilis is unknown, 13C-NMR studies were carried out to decipher the pathway for its generation. The data provided evidence for the role of free pimelate in biotin synthesis and the involvement of fatty acid synthesis in pimelate production. Cerulenin, an inhibitor of the key fatty acid elongation enzyme, FabF, markedly decreased biotin production by B. subtilis resting cells whereas a strain having a cerulenin-resistant FabF mutant produced more biotin. In addition, supplementation with pimelic acid fully restored biotin production in cerulenin-treated cells. These results indicate that pimelic acid originating from fatty acid synthesis pathway is a bona fide precursor of biotin in B. subtilis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)595-607
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Volume104
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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