Bacterial butyryl-CoA CoA-transferase activity plays a key role in butyrate formation in the human colon, but the enzyme and corresponding gene responsible for this activity have not previously been identified. A novel CoA-transferase gene is described from the colonic bacterium Roseburia sp. A2-183, with similarity to acetyl-CoA hydrolase as well as 4-hydroxybutyrate CoA-transferase sequences. The gene product, overexpressed in an Escherichia coli lysate, showed activity with butyryl-CoA and to a lesser degree propionyl-CoA in the presence of acetate. Butyrate, propionate, isobutyrate and valerate competed with acetate as the co-substrate. Despite the sequence similarity to 4-hydroxybutyrate CoA-transferases, 4-hydroxybutyrate did not compete with acetate as the co-substrate. Thus the CoA-transferase preferentially uses butyryl-CoA as substrate. Similar genes were identified in other butyrate-producing human gut bacteria from clostridial clusters IV and XIVa, while other candidate CoA-transferases for butyrate formation could not be detected in Roseburia sp. A2-183. This suggests strongly that the newly identified group of CoA-transferases described here plays a key role in butyrate formation in the human colon.
- clostridium-acetobutylicum ATCC-824
- acetate utilization
- molecular analysis
- human gut