The EutQ and EutP proteins are novel acetate kinases involved in ethanolamine catabolism: physiological implications for the function of the ethanolamine metabolosome in Salmonella enterica

Mol Microbiol. 2016 Feb;99(3):497-511. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13243. Epub 2015 Nov 5.


Salmonella enterica catabolizes ethanolamine inside a compartment known as the metabolosome. The ethanolamine utilization (eut) operon of this bacterium encodes all functions needed for the assembly and function of this structure. To date, the roles of EutQ and EutP were not known. Herein we show that both proteins have acetate kinase activity and that EutQ is required during anoxic growth of S. enterica on ethanolamine and tetrathionate. EutP and EutQ-dependent ATP synthesis occurred when enzymes were incubated with ADP, Mg(II) ions and acetyl-phosphate. EutQ and EutP also synthesized acetyl-phosphate from ATP and acetate. Although EutP had acetate kinase activity, ΔeutP strains lacked discernible phenotypes under the conditions where ΔeutQ strains displayed clear phenotypes. The kinetic parameters indicate that EutP is a faster enzyme than EutQ. Our evidence supports the conclusion that EutQ and EutP represent novel classes of acetate kinases. We propose that EutQ is necessary to drive flux through the pathway under physiological conditions, preventing a buildup of acetaldehyde. We also suggest that ATP generated by these enzymes may be used as a substrate for EutT, the ATP-dependent corrinoid adenosyltransferase and for the EutA ethanolamine ammonia-lyase reactivase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Acetate Kinase / chemistry
  • Acetate Kinase / genetics
  • Acetate Kinase / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Proteins / chemistry
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism*
  • Ethanolamine / metabolism*
  • Kinetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / enzymology*
  • Salmonella typhimurium / genetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / growth & development
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Ethanolamine
  • Acetate Kinase