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Res Microbiol. 2007 Oct-Nov;158(8-9):666-70. Epub 2007 Aug 24.

The ancestral role of the phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) as exposed by comparative genomics.

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  • 1Centro Nacional de Biotecnología-CSIC, Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid 28049, Spain.


The normal role of the phosphoenolpyruvate-carbohydrate phosphotransferase system (PTS) is phosphorylation and subsequent uptake of specific sugars. However, analysis of the distribution of PTS proteins in 206 genomes covering major bacterial groups indicates that the conventional function of PTS proteins as devices for carbohydrate phosphorylation and transport is an exception found in Enterobacteriacea, Vibrionales and Firmicutes, rather than a rule for all bacteria. Instead, available evidence suggests that a core set of C-responsive phosphotransferases have been evolutionarily drafted towards diversity of regulatory functions in response inter alia to the global economy of the C and N pools.

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