Acetylation of lysine residues is a posttranslational modification that is used by both eukaryotes and prokaryotes to regulate a variety of biological processes. Here we identify multiple substrates for the cAMP-dependent protein lysine acetyltransferase from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (KATmt). We demonstrate that a catalytically important lysine residue in a number of FadD (fatty acyl CoA synthetase) enzymes is acetylated by KATmt in a cAMP-dependent manner and that acetylation inhibits the activity of FadD enzymes. A sirtuin-like enzyme can deacetylate multiple FadDs, thus completing the regulatory cycle. Using a strain deleted for the KATmt ortholog in Mycobacterium bovis Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), we show for the first time that acetylation is dependent on intracellular cAMP levels. KATmt can utilize propionyl CoA as a substrate and, therefore, plays a critical role in alleviating propionyl CoA toxicity in mycobacteria by inactivating acyl CoA synthetase (ACS). The precision by which mycobacteria can regulate the metabolism of fatty acids in a cAMP-dependent manner appears to be unparalleled in other biological organisms and is ideally suited to adapt to the complex environment that pathogenic mycobacteria experience in the host.
Keywords: Acetyl Coenzyme A; Actinobacteria; Fatty Acid Metabolism; Mass Spectrometry (MS); Mycobacteria; Prokaryotic Signal Transduction; Protein Acylation.