Journal of bacteriology

Global effects of inactivation of the pyruvate kinase gene in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis complex.

PMID 19820096


To better understand the global effects of "natural" lesions in genes involved in the pyruvate metabolism in Mycobacterium bovis, null mutations were made in the Mycobacterium tuberculosis H37Rv ald and pykA genes to mimic the M. bovis situation. Like M. bovis, the M. tuberculosis DeltapykA mutant yielded dysgonic colonies on solid medium lacking pyruvate, whereas colony morphology was eugonic on pyruvate-containing medium. Global effects of the loss of the pykA gene, possibly underlying colony morphology, were investigated by using proteomics on cultures grown in the same conditions. The levels of Icd2 increased and those of Icl and PckA decreased in the DeltapykA knockout. Proteomics suggested that the synthesis of enzymes involved in fatty acid and lipid biosynthesis were decreased, whereas those involved in beta-oxidation were increased in the M. tuberculosis DeltapykA mutant, as confirmed by direct assays for these activities. Thus, the loss of pykA from M. tuberculosis results in fatty acids being used principally for energy production, in contrast to the situation in the host when carbon from fatty acids is conserved through the glyoxylate cycle and gluconeogenesis; when an active pykA gene was introduced into M. bovis, the opposite effects occurred. Proteins involved in oxidative stress-AhpC, KatG, and SodA-showed increased synthesis in the DeltapykA mutant, and iron-regulated proteins were also affected. Ald levels were decreased in the DeltapykA knockout, explaining why an M. tuberculosis DeltapykA Deltaald double mutant showed little additional phenotypic effect. Overall, these data show that the loss of the pykA gene has powerful, global effects on proteins associated with central metabolism.