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J Bacteriol. Dec 1972; 112(3): 1295–1301.
PMCID: PMC251562

Nonfunctional Tricarboxylic Acid Cycle and the Mechanism of Glutamate Biosynthesis in Acetobacter suboxydans

Abstract

Acetobacter suboxydans does not contain an active tricarboxylic acid cycle, yet two pathways have been suggested for glutamate synthesis from acetate catalyzed by cell extracts: a partial tricarboxylic acid cycle following an initial condensation of oxalacetate and acetyl coenzyme A. and the citramalate-mesaconate pathway following an initial condensation of pyruvate and acetyl coenzyme A. To determine which pathway functions in growing cells, acetate-1-14C was added to a culture growing in minimal medium. After growth had ceased, cells were recovered and fractionated. Radioactive glutamate was isolated from the cellular protein fraction, and the position of the radioactive label was determined. Decarboxylation of the C5 carbon removed 100% of the radioactivity found in the purified glutamate fraction. These experiments establish that growing cells synthesize glutamate via a partial tricarboxylic acid cycle. Aspartate isolated from these hydrolysates was not radioactive, thus providing further evidence for the lack of a complete tricarboxylic acid cycle. When cell extracts were analyzed, activity of all tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes, except succinate dehydrogenase, was demonstrated.

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Selected References

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