Enzymatic Synthesis of a Quorum-Sensing Autoinducer Through Use of Defined Substrates

Science  14 Jun 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5268, pp. 1655-1658
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5268.1655


Many bacteria, including several pathogens of plants and humans, use a pheromone called an autoinducer to regulate gene expression in a cell density-dependent manner. Agrobacterium autoinducer [AAI, N-(3-oxo-octanoyl)-L-homoserine lactone] of A. tumefaciens is synthesized by the TraI protein, which is encoded by the tumor-inducing plasmid. Purified hexahistidinyl-TraI (H6-TraI) used S-adenosylmethionine to make the homoserine lactone moiety of AAI, but did not use related compounds. H6-TraI used 3-oxo-octanoyl-acyl carrier protein to make the 3-oxo-octanoyl moiety of AAI, but did not use 3-oxo-octanoyl-coenzyme A. These results demonstrate the enzymatic synthesis of an autoinducer through the use of purified substrates.

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