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Biochem J. Dec 1, 1984; 224(2): 407–414.
PMCID: PMC1144446

Glucose metabolism in the extreme thermoacidophilic archaebacterium Sulfolobus solfataricus.


Sulfolobus solfataricus is a thermophilic archaebacterium able to grow at 87 degrees C and pH 3.5 on glucose as sole carbon source. The organism metabolizes glucose by two main routes. The first route involves an ATP-dependent phosphorylation to give glucose 6-phosphate, which readily isomerizes to fructose 6-phosphate. In the second route, glucose is converted into gluconate by an NAD+-dependent dehydrogenation; gluconate is then dehydrated to 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate, which, in turn, is cleaved to pyruvate and glyceraldehyde. Each metabolic step has been tested in vitro at 70 degrees C on dialysed homogenates or partially purified fractions; minimal requirements of single enzymes have been evaluated. Identification of the intermediates is based on chromatographic, spectroscopic and/or synthetic evidence and on specific enzymic assays. The oxidative breakdown of glucose to pyruvate occurring in S. solfataricus differs from the Entner-Doudoroff pattern in that there is an absence of any phosphorylation step.

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Selected References

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