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Katja Schlatterer ◽  
Andreas Peschel ◽  
Dorothee Kretschmer

The human innate immune system is equipped with multiple mechanisms to detect microbe-associated molecular patterns (MAMPs) to fight bacterial infections. The metabolite short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) acetate, propionate and butyrate are released by multiple bacteria or are food ingredients. SCFA production, especially acetate production, is usually essential for bacteria, and knockout of pathways involved in acetate production strongly impairs bacterial fitness. Because host organisms use SCFAs as MAMPs and alter immune reactions in response to SCFAs, interventions that modulate SCFA levels can be a new strategy for infection control. The interaction between SCFAs and host cells has been primarily investigated in the intestinal lumen because of the high local levels of SCFAs released by bacterial microbiome members. However, members of not only the intestinal microbiome but also the skin microbiome produce SCFAs, which are known ligands of the seven-transmembrane G-protein-coupled receptor FFAR2. In addition to enterocytes, FFAR2 is expressed on other human cell types, including leukocytes, especially neutrophils. This finding is in line with other research that determined that targeted activation of FFAR2 diminishes susceptibility toward various types of infection by bacteria such as Klebsiella pneumonia, Citrobacter rodentium, and Staphylococcus aureus but also by viruses such as respiratory syncytial and influenza viruses. Thus, our immune system appears to be able to use FFAR2-dependent detection of SCFAs for perceiving and even averting severe infections. We summarize recent advances in understanding the role of SCFAs and FFAR2 in various infection types and propose the manipulation of this receptor as an additional therapeutic strategy to fight infections.

2021 ◽  
Vol 8 (1) ◽  
Chuanqi Sun ◽  
Zonglin Li ◽  
Xiao Ning ◽  
Wentian Xu ◽  
Zhimin Li

AbstractAdenosine triphosphate (ATP) acts as a crucial energy currency in vivo, and it is a widely used energy and/or phosphate donor for enzyme-catalyzed reactions in vitro. In this study, we established an in vitro multi-enzyme cascade system for ATP production. Using adenosine and inorganic polyphosphate (polyP) as key substrates, we combined adenosine kinase and two functionally distinct polyphosphate kinases (PPKs) in a one-pot reaction to achieve chain-like ATP regeneration and production. Several sources of PPK were screened and characterized, and two suitable PPKs were selected to achieve high rates of ATP production. Among these, Sulfurovum lithotrophicum PPK (SlPPK) exhibited excellent activity over a wide pH range (pH 4.0–9.0) and synthesized ATP from ADP using short-chain polyP. Furthermore, it had a half-life > 155.6 h at 45 °C. After optimizing the reaction conditions, we finally carried out the coupling-catalyzed reaction with different initial adenosine concentrations of 10, 20, and 30 mM. The highest yields of ATP were 76.0, 70.5, and 61.3%, respectively. Graphical Abstract

2021 ◽  
Yue Liu ◽  
Nikolaos Charamis ◽  
Sjef Boeren ◽  
Joost Blok ◽  
Alisha Geraldine Lewis ◽  

Lactococcus cremoris and L. lactis are well-known for their occurrence and applications in dairy fermentations, but their niche extends to a range of natural and food production environments. L. cremoris and L. lactis produce MKs (vitamin K2), mainly as the long-chain forms represented by MK-9 and MK-8, and a detectable amount of short-chain forms represented by MK-3. The physiological significance of the different MK forms in the lifestyle of these bacterial species has not been investigated extensively. In this study, we used L. cremoris MG1363 to construct mutants producing different MK profiles by deletion of genes encoding (i) a menaquinone-specific isochorismate synthase, (ii) a geranyltranstransferase and (iii) a prenyl diphosphate synthase. These gene deletions resulted in (i) a non-MK producer (ΔmenF), (ii) a presumed MK-1 producer (ΔispA) and (iii) a MK-3 producer (Δllmg_0196), respectively. By examining the phenotypes of the MG1363 wildtype strain and respective mutants, including biomass accumulation, stationary phase survival, oxygen consumption, primary metabolites, azo dye/copper reduction, and proteomes, under aerobic, anaerobic and respiration-permissive conditions, we could infer that short-chain MKs like MK-1 and MK-3 are preferred to mediate extracellular electron transfer and reaction with extracellular oxygen, while the long-chain MKs like MK-9 and MK-8 are more efficient in aerobic respiratory electron transport chain. The different electron transfer routes mediated by short-chain and long-chain MKs likely support growth and survival of L. cremoris in a range of (transiently) anaerobic and aerobic niches including food fermentations, highlighting the physiological significance of diverse MKs in L. cremoris.

2021 ◽  
Vol 1 ◽  
Laurine Ducrot ◽  
Megan Bennett ◽  
Adam A. Caparco ◽  
Julie A. Champion ◽  
Andreas S. Bommarius ◽  

Small optically active molecules, and more particularly short-chain chiral amines, are key compounds in the chemical industry and precursors of various pharmaceuticals. Their chemo-biocatalytic production on a commercial scale is already established, mainly through lipase-catalyzed resolutions leading to ChiPros™ products among others. Nevertheless, their biocatalytic synthesis remains challenging for very short-chain C4 to C5 amines due to low enantiomeric excess. To complement the possibilities recently offered by transaminases, this work describes alternative biocatalytic access using amine dehydrogenases (AmDHs). Without any protein engineering, some of the already described wild-type AmDHs (CfusAmDH, MsmeAmDH, MicroAmDH, and MATOUAmDH2) were shown to be efficient for the synthesis of hydroxylated or unfunctionalized small 2-aminoalkanes. Conversions up to 97.1% were reached at 50 mM, and moderate to high enantioselectivities were obtained, especially for (S)-1-methoxypropan-2-amine (98.1%), (S)-3-aminobutan-1-ol (99.5%), (3S)-3-aminobutan-2-ol (99.4%), and the small (S)-butan-2-amine (93.6%) with MsmeAmDH. Semi-preparative scale-up experiments were successfully performed at 150 mM substrate concentrations for the synthesis of (S)-butan-2-amine and (S)-1-methoxypropan-2-amine, the latter known as “(S)-MOIPA”. Modeling studies provided some preliminary results explaining the basis for the challenging discrimination between similarly sized substituents in the active sites of these enzymes.

Tao Wang ◽  
Hao Shi ◽  
William B. Whitman

The acyl-CoA dehydrogenase family enzyme DmdC catalyzes the third step in the dimethylsulfoniopropionate (DMSP) demethylation pathway, the oxidation of 3-methylmercaptopropionyl-CoA (MMPA-CoA) to 3-methylthioacryloyl-CoA (MTA-CoA). To study its substrate specificity, the recombinant DmdC1 from Ruegeria pomeroyi was characterized. In addition to MMPA-CoA, the enzyme was highly active with short chain acyl-CoAs, with K m values for MMPA-CoA, butyryl-CoA, valeryl-CoA, caproyl-CoA, heptanoyl-CoA, caprylyl-CoA and isobutyryl-CoA of 36, 19, 7, 11, 14, 10, and 149 μM, respectively, and k cat values of 1.48, 0.40, 0.48, 0.73, 0.46, 0.23 and 0.01 sec −1 , respectively. Among these compounds, MMPA-CoA was the best substrate. The high affinity of DmdC1 for its substrate supports the model for kinetic regulation of the demethylation pathway. In contrast to DmdB, which catalyzes the formation of MMPA-CoA from MMPA, CoA and ATP, DmdC1 was not affected by physiological concentrations of potential effectors, such as DMSP, MMPA, ATP and ADP. Thus, compared to the other enzymes of the DMSP demethylation pathway, DmdC1 has only minimal adaptations for DMSP metabolism compared to other enzymes in the same family with similar substrates, supporting the hypothesis that it evolved relatively recently from a short chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase involved in fatty acid oxidation. Importance We report the kinetic properties of DmdC1 from the model organism R. pomeroyi and close an important gap in the literature. While the crystal structure of this enzyme was recently solved and its mechanism of action described (X. Shao, H. Y. Cao, F. Zhao, M. Peng, et al., Mol Microbiol 111:1057-1073, 2019, ), its substrate specificity and sensitivity to potential effectors was never examined. We show that DmdC1 has a high affinity for other short chain acyl-CoAs in addition to MMPA-CoA, which is the natural substrate in DMSP metabolism and is not affected by the potential effectors tested. This evidence supports the hypothesis that DmdC1 possesses few adaptations to DMSP metabolism and likely evolved relatively recently from a short chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase involved in fatty acid oxidation. This work is important because it expands our understanding about the adaptation of marine bacteria to the increased availability of DMSP about 250 million years ago.

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