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Int J Med Microbiol. 2000 Dec;290(7):627-39.

In a medium containing glucose, lactate carbon is incorporated by gonococci predominantly into fatty acids and glucose carbon incorporation is increased: implications regarding lactate stimulation of metabolism.

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School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The reason for stimulation by lactate of metabolism of gonococci growing in a medium containing glucose, which enhances pathogenicity by increasing growth rate, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) synthesis and protein formation, has been investigated. Tricine dodecylpolyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and thin layer chromatography (TLC) on homogenates of gonococci grown in this medium with [14C]lactate showed that lactate carbon was preferentially incorporated into lipid and LPS. Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy on lipid extracted from gonococci grown in the glucose containing medium with [13C]lactate showed that lactate carbon was incorporated into fatty acid moieties and not into ethanolamine or glycerol moieties. In contrast, NMR on lipid from gonococci grown with [13C]glucose indicated glucose carbon in both moieties. When unlabelled lactate was added, lipid synthesis from [l3C]glucose was stimulated and small amounts of different fatty acids were formed. The NMR data shows that gluconeogenesis from lactate carbon does not occur in the presence of glucose, suggesting that lactate is used solely for rapid production, via pyruvate, of acetyl CoA, the precursor not only for fatty acid synthesis but also for the constituents and products of the citric acid cycle, including ATP. The rapid formation of a high level of acetyl CoA is the probable reason for the stimulation of metabolism and oxygen uptake by lactate. 14C label on LPS was detected in its fatty acids. Most proteins that stained with silver in tricine SDS-PAGE were not significantly labelled by [14C]lactate in the glucose-containing medium. Two of three appreciably labelled proteins were identified by N-terminal sequencing as GroEL and porin 1B, and one of the two less labelled proteins was similar to peroxiredoxin type proteins. There were no signs of specific induction of these proteins by lactate and their labelling was consistent with fatty acids in attached lipid.

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