Regulation and evolution of malonate and propionate catabolism in proteobacteria

J Bacteriol. 2012 Jun;194(12):3234-40. doi: 10.1128/JB.00163-12. Epub 2012 Apr 13.


Bacteria catabolize malonate via two pathways, encoded by the mdc and mat genes. In various bacteria, transcription of these genes is controlled by the GntR family transcription factors (TFs) MatR/MdcY and/or the LysR family transcription factor MdcR. Propionate is metabolized via the methylcitrate pathway, comprising enzymes encoded by the prp and acn genes. PrpR, the Fis family sigma 54-dependent transcription factor, is known to be a transcriptional activator of the prp genes. Here, we report a detailed comparative genomic analysis of malonate and propionate metabolism and its regulation in proteobacteria. We characterize genomic loci and gene regulation and identify binding motifs for four new TFs and also new regulon members, in particular, tripartite ATP-independent periplasmic (TRAP) transporters. We describe restructuring of the genomic loci and regulatory interactions during the evolution of proteobacteria.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Biological Evolution
  • Energy Metabolism / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Malonates / metabolism*
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics*
  • Propionates / metabolism*
  • Proteobacteria / genetics*


  • Malonates
  • Propionates
  • Adenosine Triphosphate