The mde operon and an upstream regulatory gene (mdeR) have been cloned and sequenced from Pseudomonas putida chromosomal DNA. The mde operon contains two structural genes involved in L-methionine degradative metabolism, which are mdeA (L-methionine γ-lyase gene) and mdeB (a gene encoding a homologous protein to the E1 component of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex). A rho-independent terminator was present just downstream of mdeB and open reading frames corresponding to other components of α-keto acid dehydrogenase complex were not found. When the mdeB gene product was overproduced in Escherichia coli, the E1 activity of the cell extract showed high specificity for α-ketobutyrate rather than pyruvate. these results suggest that mdeB encodes a novel E1 component, α-ketobutyrate dehydrogenase E1 component, and plays an important role in the metabolism of α-ketobutyrate produced by L-methionine γ-lyase from L-methionine. In addition,we found that mdeR gene was located on the opposite strand and began at 127 bp from the translational start site of mdeA. The mdeR gene product has been idetified as a member of the leucine responsive regulatory protein (Lrp) family and revealed to act as an essential positive regulator allowing the expression of the mdeAB operon.
pyruvate dehydrogenase E1 component
leucine responsive regulatory protein