5 years ago

The oxidative TCA cycle operates during methanotrophic growth of the Type I methanotroph Methylomicrobium buryatense 5GB1

Methanotrophs are a group of bacteria that use methane as sole carbon and energy source. Type I methanotrophs are gamma-proteobacterial methanotrophs using the ribulose monophosphate cycle (RuMP) cycle for methane assimilation. In order to facilitate metabolic engineering in the industrially promising Type I methanotroph Methylomicrobium buryatense 5GB1, flux analysis of cellular metabolism is needed and 13C tracer analysis is a foundational tool for such work. This biological system has a single-carbon input and a special network topology that together pose challenges to the current well-established methodology for 13C tracer analysis using a multi-carbon input such as glucose, and to date, no 13C tracer analysis of flux in a Type I methanotroph has been reported. In this study, we showed that by monitoring labeling patterns of several key intermediate metabolites in core metabolism, it is possible to quantitate the relative flux ratios for important branch points, such as the malate node. In addition, it is possible to assess the operation of the TCA cycle, which has been thought to be incomplete in Type I methanotrophs. Surprisingly, our analysis provides direct evidence of a complete, oxidative TCA cycle operating in M. buryatense 5GB1 using methane as sole carbon and energy substrate, contributing about 45% of the total flux for de novo malate production. Combined with mutant analysis, this method was able to identify fumA (METBUDRAFT_1453/MBURv2__60244) as the primary fumarase involved in the oxidative TCA cycle, among 2 predicted fumarases, supported by 13C tracer analysis on both fumA and fumC single knockouts. Interrupting the oxidative TCA cycle leads to a severe growth defect, suggesting that the oxidative TCA cycle functions to not only provide precursors for de novo biomass synthesis, but also to provide reducing power to the system. This information provides new opportunities for metabolic engineering of M. buryatense for the production of industrially relevant products.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1096717616302440

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