IpdE1-IpdE2 is a heterotetrameric acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase that is widely distributed in steroid-degrading bacteria


Steroid-degrading bacteria, including Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb), utilize an architecturally distinct subfamily of acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenases (ACADs) for steroid catabolism. These ACADs are α2β2 heterotetramers that are usually encoded by adjacent fadE-like genes. In mycobacteria, ipdE1 and ipdE2 (formerly fadE30 and fadE33) occur in divergently transcribed operons associated with the catabolism of 3aα-H-4α(3′-propanoate)-7aβ-methylhexahydro-1,5-indanedione (HIP), a steroid metabolite. In Mycobacterium smegmatis, ΔipdE1 and ΔipdE2 mutants had similar phenotypes, showing impaired growth on cholesterol and accumulating 5-OH HIP in the culture supernatant. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that IpdE1 and IpdE2 share many of the features of the α- and β-subunits, respectively, of heterotetrameric ACADs that are encoded by adjacent genes in many steroid-degrading proteobacteria. When coproduced in a rhodococcal strain, IpdE1 and IpdE2 of Mtb formed a complex that catalyzed the dehydrogenation of 5OH-HIP coenzyme A (5OH-HIP-CoA) to 5OH-3aα-H-4α(3′-prop-1-enoate)-7aβ-methylhexa-hydro-1,5-indanedione coenzyme A ((E)-5OH-HIPE-CoA). This corresponds to the initial step in the pathway that leads to degradation of steroid C and D rings via β-oxidation. Small-angle X-ray scattering revealed that the IpdE1-IpdE2 complex was an α2β2 heterotetramer typical of other ACADs involved in steroid catabolism. These results provide insight into an important class of steroid catabolic enzymes and a potential virulence determinant in Mtb