A vitamin B transporter in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Academic Article uri icon


  • Vitamin B-dependent enzymes function in core biochemical pathways in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, an obligate pathogen whose metabolism in vivo is poorly understood. Although M. tuberculosis can access vitamin B in vitro, it is uncertain whether the organism is able to scavenge B during host infection. This question is crucial to predictions of metabolic function, but its resolution is complicated by the absence in the M. tuberculosis genome of a direct homologue of BtuFCD, the only bacterial B transport system described to date. We applied genome-wide transposon mutagenesis to identify M. tuberculosis mutants defective in their ability to use exogenous B. A small proportion of these mapped to Rv1314c, identifying the putative PduO-type ATP : co(I)rrinoid adenosyltransferase as essential for B assimilation. Most notably, however, insertions in Rv1819c dominated the mutant pool, revealing an unexpected function in B acquisition for an ATP-binding cassette (ABC)-type protein previously investigated as the mycobacterial BacA homologue. Moreover, targeted deletion of Rv1819c eliminated the ability of M. tuberculosis to transport B and related corrinoids in vitro. Our results establish an alternative to the canonical BtuCD-type system for B uptake in M. tuberculosis, and elucidate a role in B metabolism for an ABC protein implicated in chronic mycobacterial infection.

published proceedings

  • Open Biol

altmetric score

  • 3.45

author list (cited authors)

  • Gopinath, K., Venclovas, C., Ioerger, T. R., Sacchettini, J. C., McKinney, J. D., Mizrahi, V., & Warner, D. F.

citation count

  • 63

complete list of authors

  • Gopinath, Krishnamoorthy||Venclovas, Ceslovas||Ioerger, Thomas R||Sacchettini, James C||McKinney, John D||Mizrahi, Valerie||Warner, Digby F

publication date

  • February 2013