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Biochem J. Feb 1968; 106(4): 847–858.
PMCID: PMC1198589

Control of amino sugar metabolism in Escherichia coli and isolation of mutants unable to degrade amino sugars

Abstract

1. Growth of Escherichia coli on glucosamine results in an induction of glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase [2-amino-2-deoxy-d-glucose 6-phosphate ketol-isomerase (deaminating), EC 5.3.1.10] and a repression of glucosamine 6-phosphate synthetase (l-glutamine–d-fructose 6-phosphate aminotransferase, EC 2.6.1.16); glucose abolishes these control effects. 2. Growth of E. coli on N-acetylglucosamine results in an induction of N-acetylglucosamine 6-phosphate deacetylase and glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase, and in a repression of glucosamine 6-phosphate synthetase; glucose diminishes these control effects. 3. The synthesis of amino sugar kinases (EC 2.7.1.8 and 2.7.1.9) is unaffected by growth on amino sugars. 4. Glucosamine 6-phosphate synthetase is inhibited by glucosamine 6-phosphate. 5. Mutants of E. coli that are unable to grow on N-acetylglucosamine have been isolated, and lack either N-acetylglucosamine 6-phosphate deacetylase (deacetylaseless) or glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase (deaminaseless). Deacetylaseless mutants can grow on glucosamine but deaminaseless mutants cannot. 6. After growth on glucose, deacetylaseless mutants have a repressed glucosamine 6-phosphate synthetase and a super-induced glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase; this may be related to an intracellular accumulation of acetylamino sugar that also occurs under these conditions. In one mutant the acetylamino sugar was shown to be partly as N-acetylglucosamine 6-phosphate. Deaminaseless mutants have no abnormal control effects after growth on glucose. 7. Addition of N-acetylglucosamine or glucosamine to cultures of a deaminaseless mutant caused inhibition of growth. Addition of N-acetylglucosamine to cultures of a deacetylaseless mutant caused lysis, and secondary mutants were isolated that did not lyse; most of these secondary mutants had lost glucosamine 6-phosphate deaminase and an uptake mechanism for N-acetylglucosamine. 8. Similar amounts of 14C were incorporated from [1-14C]-glucosamine by cells of mutants and wild-type growing on broth. Cells of wild-type and a deaminaseless mutant incorporated 14C from N-acetyl[1-14C]glucosamine more efficiently than from N[1-14C]-acetylglucosamine, incorporation from the latter being further decreased by acetate; cells of a deacetylaseless mutant showed a poor incorporation of both types of labelled N-acetylglucosamine.

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Selected References

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