Bifunctional sucrose phosphate synthase/phosphatase is involved in the sucrose biosynthesis by Methylobacillus flagellatus KT.

Research paper by Sergey Y SY But, Valentina N VN Khmelenina, Alexander S AS Reshetnikov, Yuri A YA Trotsenko

Indexed on: 20 Jul '13Published on: 20 Jul '13Published in: FEMS Microbiology Letters


The aerobic obligate methylotroph Methylobacillus flagellatus KT was shown to synthesize sucrose in the presence of 0.5-2% NaCl in the growth medium. In the genome of this bacterium, an open reading frame (ORF) encoding a predicted 84-kD polypeptide homologous to the plant and cyanobacterial sucrose phosphate synthases (SPSs) was found. Using heterologous expression of the putative sps gene in Escherichia coli, followed by affinity chromatography, pure recombinant protein SPS-His6 was obtained. The enzyme catalyzed two reactions: conversion of fructose 6-phosphate and UDP-glucose into sucrose 6-phosphate and hydrolysis of sucrose 6-phosphate to sucrose. The bifunctional sucrose phosphate synthase/phosphatase (SPS/SPP) was a 340 kDa homotetrameric Mg(2+) -dependent enzyme activated by fructose 1,6-phosphate2 and ATP but inhibited by glucose 6-phosphate, fructose 1-phosphate, AMP and inorganic phosphate. The amino acid sequence of the protein had a C-terminal domain homologous to SPPs. This correlated with the absence of the spp gene in the M. flagellatus chromosome. The ORFs homologous to the M. flagellatus SPS were found in the genomes of another obligate methylotroph Methylovorus glucosetrophus as well as the lithoautotrophic bacteria Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, Nitrosomonas europaea and Nitrosospira multiformis whose genomes lacked the spp genes. Thus, data extending the knowledge of biochemical properties of bacterial SPSs have been obtained.