New insight into the role of the PhaP phasin of Ralstonia eutropha in promoting synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrate

J Bacteriol. 2001 Apr;183(7):2394-7. doi: 10.1128/JB.183.7.2394-2397.2001.


Phasins are proteins that are proposed to play important roles in polyhydroxyalkanoate synthesis and granule formation. Here the phasin PhaP of Ralstonia eutropha has been analyzed with regard to its role in the synthesis of polyhydroxybutyrate (PHB). Purified recombinant PhaP, antibodies against PhaP, and an R. eutropha phaP deletion strain have been generated for this analysis. Studies with the phaP deletion strain show that PhaP must accumulate to high levels in order to play its normal role in PHB synthesis and that the accumulation of PhaP to low levels is functionally equivalent to the absence of PhaP. PhaP positively affects PHB synthesis under growth conditions which promote production of PHB to low, intermediate, or high levels. The levels of PhaP generally parallel levels of PHB in cells. The results are consistent with models whereby PhaP promotes PHB synthesis by regulating the surface/volume ratio of PHB granules or by interacting with polyhydroxyalkanoate synthase and indicate that PhaP plays an important role in PHB synthesis from the early stages in PHB production and across a range of growth conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology*
  • Base Sequence
  • Cupriavidus necator / metabolism*
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / physiology*
  • Hydroxybutyrates / metabolism*
  • Immunoblotting
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polyesters / metabolism*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA Transposable Elements
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Hydroxybutyrates
  • PHAP protein, Bacteria
  • Polyesters
  • poly-beta-hydroxybutyrate

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF314206