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J Bacteriol. Dec 1986; 168(3): 1212–1219.
PMCID: PMC213624

Isolation of intact chains of polyphosphate from "Propionibacterium shermanii" grown on glucose or lactate.


A procedure is presented for the isolation of intact polyphosphate (poly P) from "Propionibacterium shermanii." It is demonstrated, by including [32P]poly P during the extraction, that this procedure does not hydrolyze the poly P, and it is shown that two other widely used procedures do cause breakdown of the poly P. The procedure presented allows isolation of three fractions, short-chain poly P which is soluble in trichloroacetic acid, long-chain poly P which is soluble at neutral pH, and long-chain poly P which is present in volutin granules. Cells which had been grown on lactate did not contain short-chain poly P but did contain a high amount of long-chain poly P, which accumulated to 3% of the cell dry weight. At least 70% of this poly P was present in volutin granules. The poly P ranged in length from 250 to 725 phosphate residues and was the same average size as that synthesized in vitro by the poly P kinase from "P. shermanii". This indicates that the poly P kinase is responsible for catalyzing the synthesis of the poly P. In contrast to cells grown on lactate, those which had been grown on glucose did not contain volutin granules, did contain short-chain poly P and had 100-fold less long-chain poly P than lactate-grown cells. We propose that during the fermentation of glucose, the amount of poly P is lower than during growth on lactate because it is continuously utilized as a substrate in the phosphorylation of glucose.

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Selected References

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