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The Nodulation Protein NodG Shows the Enzymatic Activity of an 3-Oxoacyl-Acyl Carrier Protein Reductase

March 2001 , Volume 14 , Number  3
Pages  349 - 357

Isabel M. López-Lara 1 , 2 and Otto Geiger 1 , 2

1Centro de Investigación sobre Fijación de Nitrógeno, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Apdo. Postal 565-A, Cuernavaca, Morelos, CP62251, México; 2Institute of Biotechnology, Technical University Berlin, Seestrasse 13, D-13353 Berlin, Germany

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Accepted 13 November 2000.

The acyl carrier protein NodF is required for the synthesis of unusual polyunsaturated fatty acids that confer specificity to lipochitin oligosaccharide nodulation (Nod) factors of Rhizobium leguminosarum. In this study, homogeneous NodF protein was used as a ligand to identify proteins of R. leguminosarum that specifically interact with NodF and presumably are involved in the biosynthesis or transfer of the unusual fatty acids. The N-terminal amino acid sequence of a 29-kDa protein that interacts strongly with NodF revealed high similarity to NodG of Rhizobium sp. N33 and to NodG of Sinorhizobium meliloti. We cloned and sequenced the gene coding for the NodG-like protein of R. leguminosarum and found it to be the product of the constitutively expressed gene fabG. FabG is the 3-oxoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductase that catalyzes the first reduction step in each cycle of fatty acid elongation. FabG of R. leguminosarum and NodG of Rhizobium sp. N33 were expressed in Escherichia coli. In both cases, the purified protein showed 3-oxoacyl-acyl carrier protein reductase activity in vitro. Therefore, NodG has the same biochemical function as FabG, and the high degree of similarity at the protein and DNA level suggest that nodG is a duplication of the housekeeping gene fabG.

Additional keywords: fatty acid biosynthesis, gene duplication.

© 2001 The American Phytopathological Society