Ophthalmic acid accumulation in an Escherichia coli mutant lacking the conserved pyridoxal 5′-phosphate-binding protein YggS

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Ito, Tomokazu ; Yamauchi, Ayako ; Hemmi, Hisashi ; Yoshimura, Tohru (2016)
  • Publisher: Elsevier
  • Journal: Journal of Bioscience and Bioengineering, volume 122, issue 6, pages 689-693 (issn: 1389-1723)
  • Subject: Pyridoxal 5′-phosphate | Ophthalmic acid | YggS | Escherichia coli | Glutathione | Amino acid

Escherichia coli YggS is a highly conserved pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP)-binding protein whose biochemical function is currently unknown. A previous study with a yggS-deficient E. coli strain (ΔyggS) demonstrated that YggS controls l-Ile- and l-Val-metabolism by modulating 2-ketobutyrate (2-KB), l-2-aminobutyrate (l-2-AB), and/or coenzyme A (CoA) availability in a PLP-dependent fashion. In this study, we found that ΔyggS accumulates an unknown metabolite as judged by amino acid analyses. LC/MS and MS/MS analyses of the compound with propyl chloroformate derivatization, and co-chromatography analysis identified this compound as γ-l-glutamyl-l-2-aminobutyryl-glycine (ophthalmic acid), a glutathione (GSH) analogue in which the l-Cys moiety is replaced by l-2-AB. We also determine the metabolic consequence of the yggS mutation. Absence of YggS initially increases l-2-AB availability, and then causes ophthalmic acid accumulation and CoA limitation in the cell. The expression of a γ-glutamylcysteine synthetase and a glutathione synthetase in a ΔyggS background causes high-level accumulation of ophthalmic acid in the cells (∼1.2 nmol/mg cells) in a minimal synthetic medium. This opens the possibility of a first fermentative production of ophthalmic acid.
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