Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.495, No.1, 174-178, 2018
Gamma-glutamylcysteine protects ergothioneine-deficient Mycobacterium tuberculosis mutants against oxidative and nitrosative stress
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb.), the causative agent of tuberculosis (TB), cannot synthesize GSH, but synthesizes two major low molecular weight thiols namely mycothiol (MSH) and ergothioneine (ERG). Gamma-glutamylcysteine (GGC), an intermediate in GSH synthesis, has been implicated in the protection of lactic acid bacteria from oxidative stress in the absence of GSH. In mycobacteria, GGC is an intermediate in ERG biosynthesis, and its formation is catalysed by EgtA (GshA). GGC is subsequently used by EgtB in the formation of hercynine-sulphoxide-GGC. In this study, M.tb. mutants harbouring unmarked, in-frame deletions in each of the fives genes involved in ERG biosynthesis (egtA, egtB, egtC, egtD and egtE) or a marked deletion of the mshA gene (required for MSH biosynthesis) were generated. Liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry analyses (LC-MS) revealed that the production of GGC was elevated in the MSH-deficient and the ERG-deficient mutants. The ERG-deficient Delta egtB mutant which accumulated GGC was more resistant to oxidative and nitrosative stress than the ERG-deficient, GGC-deficient Delta egtA mutant. This implicates GGC in the detoxification of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species in M.tb. (C) 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.