Octanoylation of the lipoyl domains of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex in a lipoyl-deficient strain of Escherichia coli

Mol Microbiol. 1990 Jun;4(6):943-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1990.tb00667.x.


The overexpression of a subgene encoding a hybrid lipoyl domain of the dihydrolipoamide acetyltransferase component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex of Escherichia coli has previously been shown to result in the formation of lipoylated and unlipoylated products. Overexpression of the same subgene in a lipoic acid biosynthesis mutant growing under lipoate-deficient conditions has now been shown to produce domains modified by octanoylation as well as unmodified domains. It was concluded from the mass of a lipoyl-binding-site peptide that the modification involves N6-octanoylation of the lysine residue (Lys244) that is normally lipoylated, and this was confirmed by the trypsin-insensitivity of the corresponding Lys244-Ala-245 bond, and the absence of modification in a mutant domain in which Lys244 is replaced by Gln. This novel protein modification raises interesting questions concerning the pathway of lipoic acid biosynthesis and the mechanism of enzyme lipoylation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Caprylates / metabolism*
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Escherichia coli / genetics*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Plasmids
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / biosynthesis
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex / genetics*
  • Thioctic Acid / genetics*
  • Thioctic Acid / metabolism


  • Caprylates
  • Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Complex
  • Thioctic Acid
  • octanoic acid