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Metab Eng. 2005 Mar;7(2):59-69.

Comparative study of flux redistribution of metabolic pathway in glutamate production by two coryneform bacteria.

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Department of Biotechnology, Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka University, 2-1 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


In amino acid production by coryneform bacteria, study on relationship between change in enzyme activities and production of a target amino acid is important. In glutamate production, Kawahara et al. discovered that the effect of decrease in 2-oxoglutamate dehydrogenase complex (ODHC) on glutamate production is essential (Kawahara et al., Biosci. Biotechnol. Biochem. 61(7) (1997) 1109). Significant reduction of the ODHC activity was observed in the cells under the several glutamate-productive conditions in Corynebacterium glutamicum. Recent progress in metabolic engineering enables us to quantitatively compare the flux redistribution of the different strains after change in enzyme activity precisely. In this paper, relationship between flux redistribution and change in enzyme activities after biotin deletion and addition of detergent (Tween 40) was studied in two coryneform bacteria, C. glutamicum and a newly isolated strain, Corynebacterium efficiens (Fudou et al., Int. J. Syst. Evol. Microbiol. 52(Part 4) 1127), based on metabolic flux analysis (MFA). It was observed that in both species the specific activities of isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICDH) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) did not significantly change throughout the fermentation, while that of the ODHC significantly decreased after biotin depletion and Tween 40 addition. Flux redistribution clearly occurred after the decrease in ODHC specific activity. The difference in glutamate production between C. glutamicum and C. efficiens was caused by the difference in the degree of decrease in ODHC specific activity. The difference in Michaelis-Menten constants or K(m) value between ICDH, GDH, and ODHC explained the mechanism of flux redistribution at the branch point of 2-oxoglutarate. It was found that the K(m) values of ICDH and ODHC were much lower than that of GDH for both strains. It was quantitatively proved that the ODHC plays the most important role in controlling flux distribution at the key branch point of 2-oxoglutarate in both coryneform bacteria. Flux redistribution mechanism was well simulated by a Michaelis-Menten-based model with kinetic parameters. The knowledge of the mechanism of flux redistribution will contribute to improvement of glutamate production in coryneform bacteria.

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