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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1986 Aug; 52(2): 352–358.
PMCID: PMC203529

Utilization of Lactate Isomers by Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii: Regulatory Role for Intracellular Pyruvate


Five strains of Propionibacterium freudenreichii subsp. shermanii utilized the l-(+) isomer of lactate at a faster rate than they did the d-(−) isomer when grown with a mixture of lactate isomers under a variety of conditions. ATCC 9614, grown anaerobically in defined medium containing 160 mM dl-lactate, utilized only 4 and 15% of the d-(−)-lactate by the time 50 and 90%, respectively, of the l-(+)-lactate was used. The intracellular pyruvate concentration was high (>100 mM) in the initial stages of lactate utilization, when either dl-lactate or the l-(+) isomer was the starting substrate. The concentration of this intermediate dropped during dl-lactate fermentation such that when only d-(−)-lactate remained, the concentration was <20 mM. When only the d-(−) isomer was initially present, a similar relatively low concentration of intracellular pyruvate was present, even at the start of lactate utilization. The NAD+-independent lactate dehydrogenase activities in extracts showed different kinetic properties with regard to pyruvate inhibition, depending upon the lactate isomer present. Pyruvate gave a competitive inhibitor pattern with l-(+)-lactate and a mixed-type inhibitor pattern with d-(−)-lactate. It is suggested that these properties of the lactate dehydrogenases and the intracellular pyruvate concentrations explain the preferential use of the l-(+) isomer.

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Selected References

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