Although it is known that oxalic acid provides a selective advantage to the secreting microbe our understanding of how this acid is biosynthesized remains incomplete. This study reports the identification, cloning, and partial characterization of the oxalic acid biosynthetic enzyme from the animal bacterial pathogen, Burkholderia mallei. The discovered gene was named oxalate biosynthetic component (obc)1. Complementation of Burkholderia oxalate defective (Bod)1, a Burkholderia glumae mutant that lacks expression of a functional oxalic acid biosynthetic operon, revealed that the obc1 was able to rescue the no oxalate mutant phenotype. This single gene rescue is in contrast to the situation found in B. glumae which required the expression of two genes, obcA and obcB, to achieve complementation. Enzyme assays showed that even though the two Burkholderia species differed in the number of genes required to encode a functional enzyme, both catalyzed the same acyl-CoA dependent biosynthetic reaction. In addition, mutagenesis studies suggested a similar domain structure of the assembled oxalate biosynthetic enzymes whether encoded by one or two genes.
Published by Elsevier GmbH.