Enzymes involved in lipid biosynthesis and metabolism play an important role in energy conversion and storage and in the function of structural components such as cell membranes. The fatty aldehyde dehydrogenase (FAldDH) plays a central function in the metabolism of lipid intermediates, oxidizing fatty aldehydes to the corresponding fatty acid and competing with pathways that would further reduce the fatty aldehydes to fatty alcohols or require the fatty aldehydes to produce alkanes. In this report, the genes for four putative FAldDH enzymes from Marinobacter aquaeolei VT8 and an additional enzyme from Acinetobacter baylyi were heterologously expressed in Escherichia coli and shown to display FAldDH activity. Five enzymes (Maqu_0438, Maqu_3316, Maqu_3410, Maqu_3572, and the enzyme reported under RefSeq accession no. WP_004927398) were found to act on aldehydes ranging from acetaldehyde to hexadecanal and also acted on the unsaturated long-chain palmitoleyl and oleyl aldehydes. A comparison of the specificities of these enzymes with various aldehydes is presented. Crystallization trials yielded diffraction-quality crystals of one particular FAldDH (Maqu_3316) from M. aquaeolei VT8. Crystals were independently treated with both the NAD+ cofactor and the aldehyde substrate decanal, revealing specific details of the likely substrate binding pocket for this class of enzymes. A likely model for how catalysis by the enzyme is accomplished is also provided.
- Lipid biosynthesis
- Wax ester