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J Bacteriol. 2003 May;185(9):2802-10.

Propionyl coenzyme A is a common intermediate in the 1,2-propanediol and propionate catabolic pathways needed for expression of the prpBCDE operon during growth of Salmonella enterica on 1,2-propanediol.

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Department of Bacteriology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin 53726-4087, USA.


The studies reported here identify propionyl coenzyme A (propionyl-CoA) as the common intermediate in the 1,2-propanediol and propionate catabolic pathways of Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium LT2. Growth on 1,2-propanediol as a carbon and energy source led to the formation and excretion of propionate, whose activation to propionyl-CoA relied on the activities of the propionate kinase (PduW)/phosphotransacetylase (Pta) enzyme system and the CobB sirtuin-controlled acetyl-CoA and propionyl-CoA (Acs, PrpE) synthetases. The different affinities of these systems for propionate ensure sufficient synthesis of propionyl-CoA to support wild-type growth of S. enterica under low or high concentrations of propionate in the environment. These redundant systems of propionyl-CoA synthesis are needed because the prpE gene encoding the propionyl-CoA synthetase enzyme is part of the prpBCDE operon under the control of the PrpR regulatory protein, which needs 2-methylcitrate as a coactivator. Because the synthesis of 2-methylcitrate by PrpC (i.e., the 2-methylcitrate synthase enzyme) requires propionyl-CoA as a substrate, the level of propionyl-CoA needs to be raised by the Acs or PduW-Pta system before 2-methylcitrate can be synthesized and prpBCDE transcription can be activated.

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