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J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2007;12(1-2):67-74.

A new piece of an old jigsaw: glucose kinase is activated posttranslationally in a glucose transport-dependent manner in streptomyces coelicolor A3(2).

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Microbial Development, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands.


Members of the soil-dwelling prokaryotic genus Streptomyces are indispensable for the recycling of complex polysaccharides, and produce a wide range of natural products. Nutrient limitation is likely to be a major signal for the onset of their development, resulting in spore formation by specialized aerial hyphae. Streptomycetes grow on numerous carbon sources, which they utilize in a preferential manner. The main signaling pathway underlying this phenomenon is carbon catabolite repression, which in streptomycetes is totally dependent on the glycolytic enzyme glucose kinase (Glk). How Glk exerts this fascinating dual role (metabolic and regulatory) is still largely a mystery. We show here that while Glk is made constitutively throughout the growth of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), its catalytic activity is modulated in a carbon source-dependent manner: while cultures growing exponentially on glucose exhibit high Glk activity, mannitol- grown cultures show negligible activity. Glk activity was directly proportional to the amount of two Glk isoforms observed by Western blot analysis. The activity profile of GlcP, the major glucose permease, correlated very well with that of Glk. Our data are consistent with a direct interaction between Glk and GlcP, suggesting that a Glk-GlcP permease complex is required for efficient glucose transport by metabolic trapping. This is supported by the strongly reduced accumulation of glucose in glucose kinase mutants. A model to explain our data is presented.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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