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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1977 Apr;33(4):885-92.

Energetics of streptococcal growth inhibition by hydrostatic pressure.


Growth of Streptococcus faecalis in complex media with various fuel sources appeared to be limited by the rate of supply of adenosine-5' -triphosphate (ATP) at 1 atm and also under 408 atm of hydrostatic pressure. Growth under pressure was energetically inefficient, as indicated by an average cell yield for exponentially growing cultures of only 10.7 g (dry weight) per mol of ATP produced compared with a 1-atm value of 15.6. Use of ATP for pressure-volume work or for turnover of protein, peptidoglycan, or stable ribonucleic acid (RNA) did not appear to be significant causes of growth inefficiency under pressure. In addition, there did not seem to be an increased ATP requirement for ion uptake because cells growing at 408 atm had significantly lower internal K(+) levels than did those growing at 1 atm. Pressure did stimulate the membrane adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) or S. faecalis at ATP concentrations greater than 0.5 mM. Intracellular ATP levels were found to vary during the culture cycle from about 2.5 mumol/ml of cytoplasmic water for lag-phase or stationary-phase cells to maxima for exponentially growing cells of about 7.5 mumol/ml at 1 atm and 5.5 mumol/ml at 408 atm. N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide at a 10 muM concentration improved growth efficiency under pressure, as did Mg(2+) or Ca(2+) ions at 50 mM concentration. These agents also enhanced ATP pooling, and it seemed that at least part of the growth inefficiency under pressure was due to increased ATPase activity. In all, it appeared that S. faecalis growing under pressure has somewhat reduced ATP supply but significantly increased demand and that the inhibitory effects of pressure can be interpreted largely in terms of ATP supply and demand.

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