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  1. Johnson, Michael David (Ed.)
    ABSTRACT Analysis of the genes retained in the minimized Mycoplasma JCVI-Syn3A genome established that systems that repair or preempt metabolite damage are essential to life. Several genes known to have such functions were identified and experimentally validated, including 5-formyltetrahydrofolate cycloligase, coenzyme A (CoA) disulfide reductase, and certain hydrolases. Furthermore, we discovered that an enigmatic YqeK hydrolase domain fused to NadD has a novel proofreading function in NAD synthesis and could double as a MutT-like sanitizing enzyme for the nucleotide pool. Finally, we combined metabolomics and cheminformatics approaches to extend the core metabolic map of JCVI-Syn3A to include promiscuous enzymatic reactions and spontaneous side reactions. This extension revealed that several key metabolite damage control systems remain to be identified in JCVI-Syn3A, such as that for methylglyoxal. IMPORTANCE Metabolite damage and repair mechanisms are being increasingly recognized. We present here compelling genetic and biochemical evidence for the universal importance of these mechanisms by demonstrating that stripping a genome down to its barest essentials leaves metabolite damage control systems in place. Furthermore, our metabolomic and cheminformatic results point to the existence of a network of metabolite damage and damage control reactions that extends far beyond the corners of it that have been characterizedmore »so far. In sum, there can be little room left to doubt that metabolite damage and the systems that counter it are mainstream metabolic processes that cannot be separated from life itself.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 11, 2023
  2. Metabolic engineering uses enzymes as parts to build biosystems for specified tasks. Although a part’s working life and failure modes are key engineering performance indicators, this is not yet so in metabolic engineering because it is not known how long enzymes remain functional in vivo or whether cumulative deterioration (wear-out), sudden random failure, or other causes drive replacement. Consequently, enzymes cannot be engineered to extend life and cut the high energy costs of replacement. Guided by catalyst engineering, we adopted catalytic cycles until replacement (CCR) as a metric for enzyme functional life span in vivo. CCR is the number of catalytic cycles that an enzyme mediates in vivo before failure or replacement, i.e., metabolic flux rate/protein turnover rate. We used estimated fluxes and measured protein turnover rates to calculate CCRs for ∼100–200 enzymes each from Lactococcus lactis , yeast, and Arabidopsis . CCRs in these organisms had similar ranges (<10 3 to >10 7 ) but different median values (3–4 × 10 4 in L. lactis and yeast versus 4 × 10 5 in Arabidopsis ). In all organisms, enzymes whose substrates, products, or mechanisms can attack reactive amino acid residues had significantly lower median CCR values than other enzymes.more »Taken with literature on mechanism-based inactivation, the latter finding supports the proposal that 1) random active-site damage by reaction chemistry is an important cause of enzyme failure, and 2) reactive noncatalytic residues in the active-site region are likely contributors to damage susceptibility. Enzyme engineering to raise CCRs and lower replacement costs may thus be both beneficial and feasible.« less
  3. Abstract For over 10 years, ModelSEED has been a primary resource for the construction of draft genome-scale metabolic models based on annotated microbial or plant genomes. Now being released, the biochemistry database serves as the foundation of biochemical data underlying ModelSEED and KBase. The biochemistry database embodies several properties that, taken together, distinguish it from other published biochemistry resources by: (i) including compartmentalization, transport reactions, charged molecules and proton balancing on reactions; (ii) being extensible by the user community, with all data stored in GitHub; and (iii) design as a biochemical ‘Rosetta Stone’ to facilitate comparison and integration of annotations from many different tools and databases. The database was constructed by combining chemical data from many resources, applying standard transformations, identifying redundancies and computing thermodynamic properties. The ModelSEED biochemistry is continually tested using flux balance analysis to ensure the biochemical network is modeling-ready and capable of simulating diverse phenotypes. Ontologies can be designed to aid in comparing and reconciling metabolic reconstructions that differ in how they represent various metabolic pathways. ModelSEED now includes 33,978 compounds and 36,645 reactions, available as a set of extensible files on GitHub, and available to search at and KBase.
  4. null (Ed.)
    Abstract The reconstruction of bacterial and archaeal genomes from shotgun metagenomes has enabled insights into the ecology and evolution of environmental and host-associated microbiomes. Here we applied this approach to >10,000 metagenomes collected from diverse habitats covering all of Earth’s continents and oceans, including metagenomes from human and animal hosts, engineered environments, and natural and agricultural soils, to capture extant microbial, metabolic and functional potential. This comprehensive catalog includes 52,515 metagenome-assembled genomes representing 12,556 novel candidate species-level operational taxonomic units spanning 135 phyla. The catalog expands the known phylogenetic diversity of bacteria and archaea by 44% and is broadly available for streamlined comparative analyses, interactive exploration, metabolic modeling and bulk download. We demonstrate the utility of this collection for understanding secondary-metabolite biosynthetic potential and for resolving thousands of new host linkages to uncultivated viruses. This resource underscores the value of genome-centric approaches for revealing genomic properties of uncultivated microorganisms that affect ecosystem processes.