Reversible N epsilon-lysine acetylation regulates the activity of acyl-CoA synthetases involved in anaerobic benzoate catabolism in Rhodopseudomonas palustris

Mol Microbiol. 2010 May;76(4):874-88. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07127.x. Epub 2010 Mar 16.


Rhodopseudomonas palustris grows photoheterotrophically on aromatic compounds available in aquatic environments rich in plant-derived lignin. Benzoate degradation is regulated at the transcriptional level in R. palustris in response to anoxia and the presence of benzoate and/or benzoyl-CoA (Bz-CoA). Here, we report evidence that anaerobic benzoate catabolism in this bacterium is also regulated at the post-translational level. In this pathway, benzoate is activated to Bz-CoA by the AMP-forming Bz-CoA synthetase (BadA) enzyme. Mass spectrometry and mutational analysis data indicate that residue Lys512 is critical to BadA activity. Acetylation of Lys512 inactivated BadA; deacetylation reactivated BadA. Likewise, 4-hydroxybenzoyl-CoA (HbaA) and cyclohexanecarboxyl-CoA (AliA) synthetases were also reversibly acetylated. We identified one acetyltransferase that modified BadA, Hba and AliA in vitro. The acetyltransferase enzyme is homologous to the protein acetyltransferase (Pat) enzyme of Salmonella enterica sv Typhimurium LT2, thus we refer to it as RpPat. RpPat also modified acetyl-CoA (Ac-CoA) synthetase (Acs) from R. palustris. In vivo data indicate that at least two deacetylases reactivate BadA(Ac). One is SrtN (encoded by srtN, formerly rpa2524), a sirtuin-type NAD(+)-dependent deacetylase (O-acetyl-ADPribose-forming); the other deacetylase is LdaA (encoded by ldaA, for lysine deacetylase A; formerly rpa0954), an acetate-forming protein deacetylase. LdaA reactivated Hba(Ac) and AliA(Ac)in vitro.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylation
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Anaerobiosis
  • Benzoates / chemistry
  • Benzoates / metabolism*
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / genetics
  • Coenzyme A Ligases / metabolism*
  • Lysine / genetics
  • Lysine / metabolism*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Rhodopseudomonas / enzymology*


  • Benzoates
  • Coenzyme A Ligases
  • Lysine