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Arch Biochem Biophys. 2000 Aug 15;380(2):331-8.

Essential role of trehalose in the synthesis and subsequent metabolism of corynomycolic acid in Corynebacterium matruchotii.

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Department of Biochemistry, Kawasaki Medical School, Kurashiki, Okayama, 701-0192, Japan.


A previous paper indicated that corynomycolates synthesized by the fluffy layer fraction prepared from Corynebacterium matruchotii cells appeared exclusively as alpha-trehalose 6-monocorynomycolate (TMM) (T. Shimakata, K. Tsubokura, T. Kusaka, and K. Shizukuishi, 1985, Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 238, 497-508). In the present communication, the role of trehalose in the synthesis and subsequent metabolism of corynomycolic acids was reexamined. Consequently the following facts were clarified: (i) trehalose 6-phosphate (T-6-P), but not trehalose, stimulated corynomycolate synthesis from palmitate in the presence of ATP; the immediate product was TMM, which showed a rapid turnover. Since the turnover was blocked by addition of alpha-trehalose, only TMM accumulated among corynomycolate-containing substances. These results strongly suggested that T-6-P is an essential component as the acceptor in corynomycolate-synthetic system; (ii) TMM was the precursor not only to alpha-trehalose 6,6'-dicorynomycolate (TDM) and free corynomycolic acids but also to cell wall corynomycolate; (iii) addition of alpha-trehalose blocked the transfer of the corynomycolate moiety from TMM to cell wall corynomycolate, TDM, and free corynomycolic acids to a similar extent. These results clearly indicate that trehalose plays an essential role in the metabolism of corynomycolate after Claisen condensation and subsequent reduction in C. matruchotii.

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