Identification of Novel Protein Lysine Acetyltransferases in Escherichia coli. Journal Article

Authors: Christensen, DG; Meyer, JG; Baumgartner, JT; D'Souza, AK; Nelson, WC; Payne, SH; Kuhn, ML; Schilling, B; Wolfe, AJ
Article Title: Identification of Novel Protein Lysine Acetyltransferases in Escherichia coli.
Abstract: Posttranslational modifications, such as e-lysine acetylation, regulate protein function. e-lysine acetylation can occur either nonenzymatically or enzymatically. The nonenzymatic mechanism uses acetyl phosphate (AcP) or acetyl coenzyme A (AcCoA) as acetyl donor to modify an e-lysine residue of a protein. The enzymatic mechanism uses e-lysine acetyltransferases (KATs) to specifically transfer an acetyl group from AcCoA to e-lysine residues on proteins. To date, only one KAT (YfiQ, also known as Pka and PatZ) has been identified in Here, we demonstrate the existence of 4 additional KATs: RimI, YiaC, YjaB, and PhnO. In a genetic background devoid of all known acetylation mechanisms (most notably AcP and YfiQ) and one deacetylase (CobB), overexpression of these putative KATs elicited unique patterns of protein acetylation. We mutated key active site residues and found that most of them eliminated enzymatic acetylation activity. We used mass spectrometry to identify and quantify the specificity of YfiQ and the four novel KATs. Surprisingly, our analysis revealed a high degree of substrate specificity. The overlap between KAT-dependent and AcP-dependent acetylation was extremely limited, supporting the hypothesis that these two acetylation mechanisms play distinct roles in the posttranslational modification of bacterial proteins. We further showed that these novel KATs are conserved across broad swaths of bacterial phylogeny. Finally, we determined that one of the novel KATs (YiaC) and the known KAT (YfiQ) can negatively regulate bacterial migration. Together, these results emphasize distinct and specific nonenzymatic and enzymatic protein acetylation mechanisms present in bacteria.e-Lysine acetylation is one of the most abundant and important posttranslational modifications across all domains of life. One of the best-studied effects of acetylation occurs in eukaryotes, where acetylation of histone tails activates gene transcription. Although bacteria do not have true histones, e-lysine acetylation is prevalent; however, the role of these modifications is mostly unknown. We constructed an strain that lacked both known acetylation mechanisms to identify four new e-lysine acetyltransferases (RimI, YiaC, YjaB, and PhnO). We used mass spectrometry to determine the substrate specificity of these acetyltransferases. Structural analysis of selected substrate proteins revealed site-specific preferences for enzymatic acetylation that had little overlap with the preferences of the previously reported acetyl-phosphate nonenzymatic acetylation mechanism. Finally, YiaC and YfiQ appear to regulate flagellum-based motility, a phenotype critical for pathogenesis of many organisms. These acetyltransferases are highly conserved and reveal deeper and more complex roles for bacterial posttranslational modification.
Journal Title: mBio
ISSN: 2150-7511
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2018