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. 2005 Aug 7;3(15):2824-31.
doi: 10.1039/b504889c. Epub 2005 Jun 27.

Biosynthesis of Iso-Fatty Acids in Myxobacteria


Biosynthesis of Iso-Fatty Acids in Myxobacteria

Jeroen S Dickschat et al. Org Biomol Chem. .


The fatty acid (FA) profiles of the myxobacteria Stigmatella aurantiaca and Myxococcus xanthus were investigated by acidic methanolysis of total cell extracts and GC or GC-MS analysis. The main components were 13-methyltetradecanoic acid (iso-15:0) and (Z)-hexadec-11-enoic acid (16:1, omega-5 cis). The biosynthesis of iso-FAs was investigated in several feeding experiments. Feeding of isovaleric acid (IVA) to a mutant impaired in the degradation of leucine to isovaleryl-CoA (IV-CoA)(bkd mutant) of M. xanthus only increased the amount of iso-odd FAs, whereas feeding of isobutyric acid (IBA) gave increased amounts only of iso-even FAs. In contrast, a bkd mutant of S. aurantiaca gave increased amounts of iso-odd and iso-even fatty acids in both experiments. We assumed that in S. aurantiacaalpha-oxidation takes place. [D(7)]-15-Methylhexadecanoic acid was synthesised and fed to S. aurantiaca as well as [D(10)]leucine and [D(8)]valine to elucidate this pathway in more detail. The iso-fatty acid was degraded by alpha- and beta-oxidation steps. [D(10)]Leucine was strongly incorporated into iso-odd and iso-even fatty acids, whereas the incorporation rates for [D(8)]valine into both types of fatty acids were low. Thus alpha-oxidation plays an important role in the biosynthesis of iso-fatty acids in S. aurantiaca. The incorporation rates observed after feeding of [D(10)]leucine and [D(8)]valine are the highest for iso-17:0 compared to the other acids. This indicates the central role of iso-17:0 in the biosynthesis of iso-FAs. The shorter homologues seem to be formed mainly by alpha-oxidation and beta-oxidation of this acid. After feeding of traces of unsaturated counterparts of this labelled FA occurred in the extracts indicating that desaturases are active in the biosynthesis of unsaturated fatty acids in S. aurantiaca.

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