Main content area

Glycerol inhibition of melanin biosynthesis in the environmental Aeromonas salmonicida 34melT

Pavan, María Elisa, Venero, Esmeralda Solar, Egoburo, Diego E., Pavan, Esteban E., López, Nancy I., Julia Pettinari, M.
Applied microbiology and biotechnology 2019 v.103 no.4 pp. 1865-1876
4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase, Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica, amino acids, biosynthesis, carbon, culture media, glycerol, glyphosate, melanin, melanization, oxidation, protein composition, protein secretion, proteins
The environmental strain Aeromonas salmonicida subsp. pectinolytica 34melᵀ produces abundant melanin through the homogentisate pathway in several culture media, but unexpectedly not when grown in a medium containing glycerol. Using this observation as a starting point, this study investigated the underlying causes of the inhibition of melanin synthesis by glycerol, to shed light on factors that affect melanin production in this microorganism. The effect of different carbon sources on melanin formation was related to the degree of oxidation of their C atoms, as the more reduced substrates delayed melanization more than the more oxidized ones, although only glycerol completely abolished melanin production. Glyphosate, an inhibitor of aromatic amino acid synthesis, did not affect melanization, while bicyclopyrone, an inhibitor of 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (Hpd), the enzyme responsible for the synthesis of homogentisate, prevented melanin synthesis. These results showed that melanin production in 34melᵀ depends on the degradation of aromatic amino acids from the growth medium and not on de novo aromatic amino acid synthesis. The presence of glycerol changed the secreted protein profile, but none of the proteins affected could be directly connected with melanin synthesis or transport. Transcription analysis of hpd, encoding the key enzyme for melanin synthesis, showed a clear inhibition caused by glycerol. The results obtained in this work indicate that a significant decrease in the transcription of hpd, together with a more reduced intracellular state, would lead to the abolishment of melanin synthesis observed. The effect of glycerol on melanization can thus be attributed to a combination of metabolic and regulatory effects.