Enzymatic characterization and gene identification of aconitate isomerase, an enzyme involved in assimilation of trans-aconitic acid, from Pseudomonas sp. WU-0701

FEBS J. 2015 Nov;282(22):4257-67. doi: 10.1111/febs.13494. Epub 2015 Sep 12.


trans-Aconitic acid is an unsaturated organic acid that is present in some plants such as soybean and wheat; however, it remains unclear how trans-aconitic acid is degraded and/or assimilated by living cells in nature. From soil, we isolated Pseudomonas sp. WU-0701 assimilating trans-aconitic acid as a sole carbon source. In the cell-free extract of Pseudomonas sp. WU-0701, aconitate isomerase (AI; EC activity was detected. Therefore, it seems likely that strain Pseudomonas sp. WU-0701 converts trans-aconitic acid to cis-aconitic acid with AI, and assimilates this via the tricarboxylic acid cycle. For the characterization of AI from Pseudomonas sp. WU-0701, we performed purification, determination of enzymatic properties and gene identification of AI. The molecular mass of AI purified from cell-free extract was estimated to be ~ 25 kDa by both SDS/PAGE and gel filtration analyses, indicating that AI is a monomeric enzyme. The optimal pH and temperature of purified AI for the reaction were 6.0 °C and 37 °C, respectively. The gene ais encoding AI was cloned on the basis of the N-terminal amino acid sequence of the protein, and Southern blot analysis revealed that only one copy of ais is located on the bacterial genome. The gene ais contains an ORF of 786 bp, encoding a polypeptide of 262 amino acids, including the N-terminal 22 amino acids as a putative periplasm-targeting signal peptide. It is noteworthy that the amino acid sequence of AI shows 90% and 74% identity with molybdenum ABC transporter substrate-binding proteins of Pseudomonas psychrotolerans and Xanthomonas albilineans, respectively. This is the first report on purification to homogeneity, characterization and gene identification of AI.

Database: The nucleotide sequence of ais described in this article is available in the DDBJ/EMBL/GenBank nucleotide sequence databases under the Accession No. LC010980.

Keywords: Pseudomonas sp.; aconitate isomerase; citric acid; molybdenum ABC transporter; trans-aconitic acid.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aconitic Acid / chemistry*
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Escherichia coli / enzymology
  • Isomerases / chemistry
  • Isomerases / genetics*
  • Kinetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Pseudomonas / enzymology*


  • Aconitic Acid
  • Isomerases