P aeruginosa produces rhamnolipids, which are glycolipidic biosu

P. aeruginosa produces rhamnolipids, which are glycolipidic biosurfactants consisting of one or two hydrophilic l-rhamnose molecules (mono- and di-rhamnolipids, respectively) and of a hydrophobic fatty acid moiety, see [1] for review. Rhamnolipids are involved in a number of functions, such as the uptake of poorly soluble

substrates, AZD1480 molecular weight surface motility, biofilm development, or interaction with the immune system [2], and are considered as virulence factors. Most of the rhamnolipid biosynthetic pathway is clearly established [1, 3]: RmlA, RmlB, RmlC, and RmlD are responsible for dTDP-l-rhamnose synthesis from glucose-1-phosphate, while RhlA supplies the acyl moieties by converting two molecules of β-hydroxylacyl-Acyl Carrier Protein (ACP) in one molecule of β-D-(β-D-hydroxyalkanoyloxy) alkanoic acid (HAA). Finally, the PKA activator rhamnosyltransferase RhlB links one l-rhamnose molecule to one HAA to yield one mono-rhamnolipid, which either will be the final product or will be the substrate of the second rhamnosyltransferase RhlC to obtain one di-rhamnolipid. RhlG was described as an NADPH-dependent β-ketoacyl reductase specifically involved in rhamnolipid synthesis [4]. It was proposed to work just upstream

of RhlA, converting one β-ketoacyl-ACP molecule in one β-hydroxylacyl-ACP [5]. These conclusions were based on: i) the amino acid sequence similarities between RhlG and FabG, Obeticholic price which is part of the general fatty acid synthetic pathway; ii) the absence of rhamnolipid production by an rhlG mutant of P. aeruginosa PAO1; and iii) similarities between the promoters of the rhlG gene and of the rhlAB operon, suggesting a coordinated expression of the genes involved in rhamnolipid synthesis [4]. However, two subsequent articles questioned the RhlG function. A structural and biochemical study of RhlG confirmed that Urease it is an NADPH-dependent β-ketoacyl reductase, but indicated that the RhlG substrates are not carried by the ACP [6]. Zhu and Rock [3] then reported that RhlG was not required for rhamnolipid synthesis in the heterologous host

Escherichia coli and that rhlG mutants of P. aeruginosa PA14 and PAO1 were not affected in rhamnolipid production. These authors concluded that RhlG plays no role in rhamnolipid formation and that its physiological substrate remains to be identified [3]. The transcriptional regulation of the rhlG gene has not been so far studied in more details than in [4]. Among the rhamnolipid-related genes, the rhlAB operon was the first and most extensively studied at the transcription level. These works led to the discovery of the RhlRI quorum sensing (QS) system, which is encoded by genes lying just downstream of rhlAB and is required for rhlAB transcription [7–10]. RhlRI is a LuxRI-type QS system [11], RhlI synthesizing the communication molecule N-butyryl-l-homoserine lactone (C4-HSL) which binds to the transcription regulator RhlR.

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