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J Bacteriol. 1992 Nov;174(22):7337-44.

The Calvin cycle enzyme pentose-5-phosphate 3-epimerase is encoded within the cfx operons of the chemoautotroph Alcaligenes eutrophus.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, Germany.


Several genes (cfx genes) encoding Calvin cycle enzymes in Alcaligenes eutrophus are organized in two highly homologous operons comprising at least 11 kb. One cfx operon is located on the chromosome; the other is located on megaplasmid pHG1 of the organism (B. Bowien, U. Windhövel, J.-G. Yoo, R. Bednarski, and B. Kusian, FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 87:445-450, 1990). Corresponding regions of about 2.7 kb from within the operons were sequenced. Three open reading frames, designated cfxX (954 bp), cfxY (765 bp), and cfxE (726 bp), were detected at equivalent positions in the two sequences. The nucleotide identity of the sequences amounted to 94%. Heterologous expression of the subcloned pHG1-encoded open reading frames in Escherichia coli suggested that they were functional genes. The observed sizes of the gene products CfxX (35 kDa), CfxY (27 kDa), and CfxE (25.5 kDa) closely corresponded to the values calculated on the basis of the sequence information. E. coli clones harboring the cfxE gene showed up to about 19-fold-higher activities of pentose-5-phosphate 3-epimerase (PPE; EC than did reference clones, suggesting that cfxE encodes PPE, another Calvin cycle enzyme. These data agree with the finding that in A. eutrophus, PPE activity is significantly enhanced under autotrophic growth conditions which lead to a derepression of the cfx operons. No functions could be assigned to CfxX and CfxY.

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