Insights into Acinetobacter baumannii fatty acid synthesis 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductases

Emily M. Cross, Felise G. Adams, Jack K. Waters, David Aragão, Bart A. Eijkelkamp, Jade K. Forwood

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Abstract

Treatments for ‘superbug’ infections are the focus for innovative research, as drug resistance threatens human health and medical practices globally. In particular, Acinetobacter baumannii (Ab) infections are repeatedly reported as difcult to treat due to increasing antibiotic resistance. Therefore, there is increasing need to identify novel targets in the development of diferent antimicrobials. Of particular interest is fatty acid synthesis, vital for the formation of phospholipids, lipopolysaccharides/ lipooligosaccharides, and lipoproteins of Gram-negative envelopes. The bacterial type II fatty acid synthesis (FASII) pathway is an attractive target for the development of inhibitors and is particularly favourable due to the diferences from mammalian type I fatty acid synthesis. Discrete enzymes in this pathway include two reductase enzymes: 3-oxoacyl-acyl carrier protein (ACP) reductase (FabG) and enoyl-ACP reductase (FabI). Here, we investigate annotated FabG homologs, fnding a low-molecular weight 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase, as the most likely FASII FabG candidate, and high-molecular weight 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase (HMwFabG), showing diferences in structure and coenzyme preference. To date, this is the second bacterial high-molecular weight FabG structurally characterized, following FabG4 from Mycobacterium. We show that ΔAbHMwfabG is impaired for growth in nutrient rich media and pellicle formation. We also modelled a third 3-oxoacyl-ACP reductase, which we annotated as AbSDR. Despite containing residues for catalysis and the ACP coordinating motif, biochemical analyses showed limited activity against an acetoacetyl-CoA substrate in vitro. Inhibitors designed to target FabG proteins and thus prevent fatty acid synthesis may provide a platform for use against multidrug-resistant pathogens including A. baumannii

Original languageEnglish
Article number7050
Number of pages16
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Antimicrobial resistance
  • X-ray crystallography

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