2018 journal article
Carboxythiazole is a key microbial nutrient currency and critical component of thiamin biosynthesis
SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 8.
Almost all cells require thiamin, vitamin B1 (B1), which is synthesized via the coupling of thiazole and pyrimidine precursors. Here we demonstrate that 5-(2-hydroxyethyl)-4-methyl-1,3-thiazole-2-carboxylic acid (cHET) is a useful in vivo B1 precursor for representatives of ubiquitous marine picoeukaryotic phytoplankton and Escherichia coli - drawing attention to cHET as a valuable exogenous micronutrient for microorganisms with ecological, industrial, and biomedical value. Comparative utilization experiments with the terrestrial plant Arabidopsis thaliana revealed that it can also use exogenous cHET, but notably, picoeukaryotic marine phytoplankton and E. coli were adapted to grow on low (picomolar) concentrations of exogenous cHET. Our results call for the modification of the conventional B1 biosynthesis model to incorporate cHET as a key precursor for B1 biosynthesis in two domains of life, and for consideration of cHET as a microbial micronutrient currency modulating marine primary productivity and community interactions in human gut-hosted microbiomes.