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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2000 Sep;66(9):3686-91.

Changes in glycolytic activity of Lactococcus lactis induced by low temperature.

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Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Wageningen University, Wageningen, The Netherlands.


The effects of low-temperature stress on the glycolytic activity of the lactic acid bacterium Lactococcus lactis were studied. The maximal glycolytic activity measured at 30 degrees C increased approximately 2.5-fold following a shift from 30 to 10 degrees C for 4 h in a process that required protein synthesis. Analysis of cold adaptation of strains with genes involved in sugar metabolism disrupted showed that both the phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) subunit HPr and catabolite control protein A (CcpA) are involved in the increased acidification at low temperatures. In contrast, a strain with the PTS subunit enzyme I disrupted showed increased acidification similar to that in the wild-type strain. This indicates that the PTS is not involved in this response whereas the regulatory function of 46-seryl phosphorylated HPr [HPr(Ser-P)] probably is involved. Protein analysis showed that the production of both HPr and CcpA was induced severalfold (up to two- to threefold) upon exposure to low temperatures. The las operon, which is subject to catabolite activation by the CcpA-HPr(Ser-P) complex, was not induced upon cold shock, and no increased lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was observed. Similarly, the rate-limiting enzyme of the glycolytic pathway under starvation conditions, glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase (GAPDH), was not induced upon cold shock. This indicates that a factor other than LDH or GAPDH is rate determining for the increased glycolytic activity upon exposure to low temperatures. Based on their cold induction and involvement in cold adaptation of glycolysis, it is proposed that the CcpA-HPr(Ser-P) control circuit regulates this factor(s) and hence couples catabolite repression and cold shock response in a functional and mechanistic way.

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