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J Bacteriol. Oct 1983; 156(1): 81–88.
PMCID: PMC215053

2-Oxoacid dehydrogenase complexes of Escherichia coli: cellular amounts and patterns of synthesis.


The oxidative decarboxylations of pyruvate and 2-oxoglutarate in Escherichia coli are carried out by two large, multienzyme complexes: pyruvate dehydrogenase and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase. The enzyme complexes each contain three subunits: two are unique to the individual complexes, the third is shared between them. Resolution of the polypeptide subunits on two-dimensional gels allowed quantitative analysis of their cellular levels and patterns of synthesis in growing cells. Cells growing in glucose-salts medium were found to contain roughly 85 to 136 pyruvate dehydrogenase complexes and 73 2-oxoglutarate complexes. Lipoamide dehydrogenase, the subunit shared by the two complexes, was found to be in significant excess of its stoichiometric demand in the two enzyme complexes under most growth conditions. The subunits unique to each of the complexes were coordinately regulated over a wide variety of growth conditions and a broad range of expression. The two complexes responded to different, but partially overlapping, regulatory signals. Most importantly, the shared subunit was actively regulated to accommodate its demand in both enzymes. These results are discussed with regard to possible mechanisms of regulation of the enzyme complexes in general and of the shared subunit specifically.

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Selected References

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