Unusual cofactor modification in alcohol metabolism of mycobacteria.

| by Gerald Lackner

Our new article in ACS Chemical Biology sheds light on some previously unknown aspects of alcohol metabolism in mycobacteria. Previously, it was known that coenzyme mycofactocin is required for the degradation of alcohol. This cofactor shows a modification (methylation) on its side chain. We were now able to identify the gene that controls the modification. By inactivating the gene, we were able to show that the methylation confers increased stability against degradative enzymes. Bacteria that are unable to install the modification also require significantly more time to activate their alcohol metabolism. These discoveries lay the foundation for elucidating the molecular mechanisms behind this unusual cofactor modification and alcohol metabolism in Mycobacteria in general.


Congratulations to Mark, Patrícia and Luis for the great work! Many thanks to Ivan Vilotijevic from FSU Jena and Stefanie Barth from Friedrich-Löffler-Institut Jena for the great collaboration!