Pseudomonas aeruginosa is able to grow on acyclic monoterpenes (citronellol, citronellate, geraniol and geranylate), and on other methyl-branched compounds such as leucine or isovalerate. The catabolic pathway of citronellol (Atu, acyclic terpene utilization) enters that of leucine/isovalerate (Liu, leucine and isovalerate utilization) at the level of methylcrotonyl-CoA. Key enzymes of the combined pathways are geranyl-CoA carboxylase (GCase) and methylcrotonyl-CoA carboxylase (MCase). In this study, isovalerate-grown cells specifically expressed MCase (apparent molecular mass of the biotin-containing subunit, 74 kDa) only, and the GCase biotin-containing subunit (71 kDa) was not detected. Citronellol- or citronellate-grown cells produced both carboxylases. Biotin-dependent proteins were purified from crude extracts by avidin-affinity chromatography, and assigned to the corresponding coding genes by trypsin fingerprint analysis. The two subunits of MCase corresponded to liuB/liuD (PA2014/PA2012) of the P. aeruginosa genome database, and atuC/atuF (PA2888/PA2891) encoded GCase subunits. This finding is contrary to that reported by others. The identified genes are part of two separate gene clusters [liuRABCDE (PA2011-PA2016) and atuABCDEFGH (PA2886-PA2893)] that are thought to encode most of the genes of the Atu and Liu pathways.
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