In Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the protein MbtN (Rv1346) catalyzes the formation of a double bond in the fatty-acyl moiety of the siderophore mycobactin, which is used by this organism to acquire essential iron. MbtN is homologous to acyl-CoA dehydrogenases, whose general role is to catalyze the α,β-dehydrogenation of fatty-acyl-CoA conjugates. Mycobactins, however, contain a long unsaturated fatty-acid chain with an unusual cis double bond conjugated to the carbonyl group of the mycobactin core. To characterize the role of MbtN in the dehydrogenation of this fatty-acyl moiety, the enzyme has been expressed, purified and crystallized. The crystals diffracted to 2.3 Å resolution at a synchrotron source and were found to belong to the hexagonal space group H32, with unit-cell parameters a = b = 139.10, c = 253.09 Å, α = β = 90, γ = 120°.
Keywords: MbtN; Mycobacterium tuberculosis; Rv1346.