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Unraveling cholesterol catabolism in Mycobacterium tuberculosis: ChsE4-ChsE5 alpha2beta2 acyl-CoA dehydrogenase initiates beta-oxidation of 3-oxo-cholest-4-en-26-oyl CoA.

Yang M., Lu R., Guja K.E., Wipperman M.F., St Clair J.R., Bonds A.C., Garcia-Diaz M., Sampson N.S.

The metabolism of host cholesterol by Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) is an important factor for both its virulence and pathogenesis, although how and why cholesterol metabolism is required is not fully understood. Mtb uses a unique set of catabolic enzymes that are homologous to those required for classical β-oxidation of fatty acids but are specific for steroid-derived substrates. Here, we identify and assign the substrate specificities of two of these enzymes, ChsE4-ChsE5 (Rv3504-Rv3505) and ChsE3 (Rv3573c), that carry out cholesterol side chain oxidation in Mtb. Steady-state assays demonstrate that ChsE4-ChsE5 preferentially catalyzes the oxidation of 3-oxo-cholest-4-en-26-oyl CoA in the first cycle of cholesterol side chain β-oxidation that ultimately yields propionyl-CoA, whereas ChsE3 specifically catalyzes the oxidation of 3-oxo-chol-4-en-24-oyl CoA in the second cycle of β-oxidation that generates acetyl-CoA. However, ChsE4-ChsE5 can catalyze the oxidation of 3-oxo-chol-4-en-24-oyl CoA as well as 3-oxo-4-pregnene-20-carboxyl-CoA. The functional redundancy of ChsE4-ChsE5 explains the in vivo phenotype of the igr knockout strain of Mycobacterium tuberculosis; the loss of ChsE1-ChsE2 can be compensated for by ChsE4-ChsE5 during the chronic phase of infection. The X-ray crystallographic structure of ChsE4-ChsE5 was determined to a resolution of 2.0 Å and represents the first high-resolution structure of a heterotetrameric acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACAD). Unlike typical homotetrameric ACADs that bind four flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) cofactors, ChsE4-ChsE5 binds one FAD at each dimer interface, resulting in only two substrate-binding sites rather than the classical four active sites. A comparison of the ChsE4-ChsE5 substrate-binding site to those of known mammalian ACADs reveals an enlarged binding cavity that accommodates steroid substrates and highlights novel prospects for designing inhibitors against the committed β-oxidation step in the first cycle of cholesterol side chain degradation by Mtb.

ACS Infect. Dis. 1:110-125(2015) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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