Genetics of serine pathway enzymes in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1: phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and malyl coenzyme A lyase
Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 is a facultative methylotrophic bacterium that uses the serine pathway for formaldehyde incorporation as its assimilation pathway during growth on one-carbon compounds. A DNA region from M. extorquens AM1 previously shown to contain genes for the serine pathway enzymes malyl coenzyme A (CoA) lyase and hydroxypyruvate reductase has been characterized in more detail. Insertion mutagenesis revealed an additional region required for growth on one-carbon compounds, and all of the insertion mutants in this region lacked activity for another serine pathway enzyme, the acetyl- CoA-independent phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxylase. Expression analysis with Escherichia coli of DNA fragments that included the malyl- CoA lyase and PEP carboxylase regions identified five polypeptides, all transcribed in the same direction. Three of these polypeptides were expressed from the region necessary for the acetyl-CoA-independent PEP carboxylase, one was expressed from the region containing the malyl-CoA lyase gene, and the fifth was expressed from a region immediately downstream from the gene encoding hydroxypyruvate reductase. All six genes are transcribed in the same direction, but the transposon insertion data suggest that they are not all cotranscribed.