Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Vol.102, No.10, 4549-4561, 2018
Role of a membrane-bound aldehyde dehydrogenase complex AldFGH in acetic acid fermentation with Acetobacter pasteurianus SKU1108
Acetic acid fermentation is widely considered a consequence of ethanol oxidation by two membrane-bound enzymes-alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH)-of acetic acid bacteria. Here, we used a markerless gene disruption method to construct a mutant of the Acetobacter pasteurianus strain SKU1108 with a deletion in the aldH gene, which encodes the large catalytic subunit of a heterotrimeric ALDH complex (AldFGH), to examine the role of AldFGH in acetic acid fermentation. The Delta aldH strain grew less on ethanol-containing medium, i.e., acetic acid fermentation conditions, than the wild-type strain and significantly accumulated acetaldehyde in the culture medium. Unexpectedly, acetaldehyde oxidase activity levels of the intact Delta aldH cells and the Delta aldH cell membranes were similar to those of the wild-type strain, which might be attributed to an additional ALDH isozyme (AldSLC). The apparent K-M values of the wild-type and Delta aldH membranes for acetaldehyde were similar to each other, when the cells were cultured in nonfermentation conditions, where Delta aldH cells grow as well as the wild-type cells. However, the membranes of the wild-type cells grown under fermentation conditions showed a 10-fold lower apparent K-M value than those of the cells grown under nonfermentation conditions. Under fermentation conditions, transcriptional levels of a gene for AldSLC were 10-fold lower than those under nonfermentation conditions, whereas aldH transcript levels were not dramatically changed under the two conditions. We suggest that A. pasteurianus SKU1108 has two ALDHs, and the AldFGH complex is indispensable for acetic acid fermentation and is the major enzyme under fermentation conditions.