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Abstract

Members of the genus are specialists in the biosynthesis and accumulation of triacylglycerols (TAGs). As no transport protein related to TAG metabolism has yet been characterized in these bacteria, we used the available genomic information of RHA1 to perform a broad survey of genes coding for putative lipid transporter proteins in this oleaginous micro-organism. Among the seven genes encoding putative lipid transporters, (now called : lipid transporter protein) coding for an ATP-binding cassette protein was found clustered with others genes encoding enzymes catalysing the three putative acylation reactions of the Kennedy pathway for TAG synthesis. Overexpression of in the RHA1 strain led to an increase of approximately sixfold and threefold in biomass and TAG production, respectively, when cells were cultivated on palmitic acid and oleic acid. Moreover, overexpression of also promoted a significant increase in the uptake of a fluorescently labelled long-chain fatty acid (LCFA), as compared with the WT strain RHA1, and its further incorporation into the TAG fraction. Gluconate-grown cells showed increasing amounts of intracellular free fatty acids, but not of TAG, after overexpressing . Thus, for the first time to our knowledge, a transporter functionally related to TAG metabolism was identified in oleaginous rhodococci. Our results suggested that Ltp1 is an importer of LCFAs that plays a functional role in lipid homeostasis of RHA1.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • SCyT of the University of Patagonia San Juan Bosco
  • Agencia Comodoro Conocimiento (MCR)
  • Oil m&s Company
  • CONICET (Award PIP-CONICET no. 0764))
  • COFECyT (Award PFIP CHU-25)
  • ANPCyT (Award PICT2012 no. 2031)
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/content/journal/micro/10.1099/mic.0.078477-0
2014-07-01
2021-10-25
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