Biochemical and mutational analyses of AcuA, the acetyltransferase enzyme that controls the activity of the acetyl coenzyme a synthetase (AcsA) in Bacillus subtilis

J Bacteriol. 2008 Jul;190(14):5132-6. doi: 10.1128/JB.00340-08. Epub 2008 May 16.


The acuABC genes of Bacillus subtilis comprise a putative posttranslational modification system. The AcuA protein is a member of the Gcn5-related N-acetyltransferase (GNAT) superfamily, the AcuC protein is a class I histone deacetylase, and the role of the AcuB protein is not known. AcuA controls the activity of acetyl coenzyme A synthetase (AcsA; EC in this bacterium by acetylating residue Lys549. Here we report the kinetic analysis of wild-type and variant AcuA proteins. We contrived a genetic scheme for the identification of AcuA residues critical for activity. Changes at residues H177 and G187 completely inactivated AcuA and led to its rapid turnover. Changes at residues R42 and T169 were less severe. In vitro assay conditions were optimized, and an effective means of inactivating the enzyme was found. The basic kinetic parameters of wild-type and variant AcuA proteins were obtained and compared to those of eukaryotic GNATs. Insights into how the isolated mutations may exert their deleterious effect were investigated by using the crystal structure of an AcuA homolog.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Acetyltransferases / genetics*
  • Acetyltransferases / metabolism*
  • Amino Acid Substitution / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / enzymology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Kinetics
  • Models, Molecular
  • Peptides / metabolism
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Peptides
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Acetyltransferases
  • acuA protein, Bacillus subtilis