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J Appl Microbiol. 2004;96(5):1185-93.

Catabolism of leucine to branched-chain fatty acids in Staphylococcus xylosus.

Author information

1
Celcom, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Southern Denmark-Odense University, Odense M, Denmark. hcb@bioteknologisk.dk

Abstract

AIMS:

Staphylococcus xylosus is an important starter culture in the production of flavours from the branched-chain amino acids leucine, valine and isoleucine in fermented meat products. The sensorially most important flavour compounds are the branched-chain aldehydes and acids derived from the corresponding amino acids and this paper intends to perspectivate these flavour compounds in the context of leucine metabolism.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

GC and GC/MS analysis combined with stable isotope labelling was used to study leucine catabolism. This amino acid together with valine and isoleucine was used as precursors for the production of branched-chain fatty acids for cell membrane biosynthesis during growth. A 83.3% of the cellular fatty acids were branched. The dominating fatty acid was anteiso-C(15:0) that constituted 55% of the fatty acids. A pyridoxal 5'-phosphate and alpha-ketoacid dependent reaction catalysed the deamination of leucine, valine and isoleucine into their corresponding alpha-ketoacids. As alpha-amino group acceptor alpha-keto-beta-methylvaleric acid and alpha-ketoisovaleric acid was much more efficient than alpha-ketoglutarate. The sensorially and metabolic key intermediate on the pathway to the branched-chain fatty acids, 3-methylbutanoic acid was produced from leucine at the onset of the stationary growth phase and then, when the growth medium became scarce in leucine, from the oxidation of glucose via pyruvate.

CONCLUSIONS:

This paper demonstrates that the sensorially important branched-chain aldehydes and acids are important intermediates on the metabolic route leading to branched-chain fatty acids for cell membrane biosynthesis.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

The metabolic information obtained is extremely important in connection with a future biotechnological design of starter cultures for production of fermented meat.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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