Lipids have been identified as important carbon sources for Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) to utilize in vivo. Thus gluconeogenesis bears a key role for Mtb to survive and replicate in host. A rate-limiting enzyme of gluconeogenesis, fructose 1, 6-bisphosphatase (FBPase) is encoded by the gene glpX. The functions of glpX were studied in M. marinum,a closely related species to Mtb. The glpX deletion strain (ΔglpX) displayed altered gluconeogenesis, attenuated virulence, and altered bacterial proliferation. Metabolic profiles indicate an accumulation of the FBPase substrate, fructose 1, 6-bisphosphate (FBP) and altered gluconeogenic flux when ΔglpX is cultivated in a gluconeogenic carbon substrate, acetate. In both macrophages and zebrafish, the proliferation of ΔglpX was halted, resulting in dramatically attenuated virulence. Intracellular ΔglpX exhibited an elongated morphology, which was also observed when ΔglpX was grown in a gluconeogenic carbon source. This elongated morphology is also supported by the observation of unseparated multi-nucleoid cell, indicating that a complete mycobacterial division in vivo is correlated with intact gluconeogenesis. Together, our results indicate that glpX has essential functions in gluconeogenesis, and plays an indispensable role in bacterial proliferation in vivo and virulence of M. marinum.
Tong, J., Meng, L., Wang, X., Liu, L., Lyu, L., Wang, C., … Niu, C. (2016). The FBPase encoding gene glpX is required for gluconeogenesis, bacterial proliferation and division in vivo of Mycobacterium marinum. PLoS ONE, 11(5). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0156663