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Functional analysis of pyochelin/enantiopyochelin-related genes from a pathogenicity island of Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain PA14

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Publication date 2014
Author Maspoli Alessandro, Wenner Nicolas, Mislin Gaetan L. A. , Reimmann Cornelia,
Project Enantio-pyochelin: Biosynthesis, regulation, and natural occurrence
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Biometals
Volume (Issue) 27(3)
Page(s) 559 - 573
Title of proceedings Biometals
DOI 10.1007/s10534-014-9729-4

Open Access


Genomic islands are foreign DNA blocks inserted in so-called regions of genomic plasticity (RGP). Depending on their gene content, they are classified as pathogenicity, symbiosis, metabolic, fitness or resistance islands, although a detailed functional analysis is often lacking. Here we focused on a 34-kb pathogenicity island of Pseudomonas aeruginosa PA14 (PA14GI-6), which is inserted at RGP5 and carries genes related to those for pyochelin/enantiopyochelin biosynthesis. These enantiomeric siderophores of P. aeruginosa and certain strains of Pseudomonas protegens are assembled by a thiotemplate mechanism from salicylate and two molecules of cysteine. The biochemical function of several proteins encoded by PA14GI-6 was investigated by a series of complementation analyses using mutants affected in potential homologs. We found that PA14_54940 codes for a bifunctional salicylate synthase/salicyl-AMP ligase (for generation and activation of salicylate), that PA14_54930 specifies a dihydroaeruginoic acid (Dha) synthetase (for coupling salicylate with a cysteine-derived thiazoline ring), that PA14_54910 produces a type II thioesterase (for quality control), and that PA14_54880 encodes a serine O-acetyltransferase (for increased cysteine availability). The structure of the PA14GI-6-specified metabolite was determined by mass spectrometry, thin-layer chromatography, and HPLC as (R)-Dha, an iron chelator with antibacterial, antifungal and antitumor activity. The conservation of this genomic island in many clinical and environmental P. aeruginosa isolates of different geographical origin suggests that the ability for Dha production may confer a selective advantage to its host.