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Microbiology. 2008 Dec;154(Pt 12):3917-30. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.2008/021204-0.

Physiological response of Corynebacterium glutamicum to oxidative stress induced by deletion of the transcriptional repressor McbR.

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Biochemical Engineering Institute, Saarland University, Saarbrücken, Germany.


In the present work the metabolic response of Corynebacterium glutamicum to deletion of the global transcriptional regulator McbR, which controls, e.g. the expression of enzymes of L-methionine and L-cysteine biosynthesis and sulfur assimilation, was studied. Several oxidative stress proteins were significantly upregulated among about 40 proteins in response to deletion of McbR. Linked to this oxidative stress, the mutant exhibited a 50 % reduced growth rate, a 30 % reduced glucose uptake rate and a 30 % reduced biomass yield. It also showed metabolic flux rerouting in response to the deletion. NADPH metabolism was strongly altered. In contrast to the wild-type, the deletion strain supplied significantly more NADPH than required for anabolism, indicating the activity of additional NADPH-consuming reactions. These involved enzymes of oxidative stress protection. Through redirection of metabolic carbon flux in the central catabolism, including a 40 % increased tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux, the mutant revealed an enhanced NADPH supply to provide redox power for the antioxidant systems. This, however, was not sufficient to compensate for the oxidative stress, as indicated by the drastically disturbed redox equilibrium. The NADPH/NADP+ ratio in C. glutamicum DeltamcbR was only 0.29, and thus much lower than that of the wild-type (2.35). Similarly, the NADH/NAD+ ratio was substantially reduced from 0.18 in the wild-type to 0.08 in the mutant. Deletion of McbR is regarded as a key step towards biotechnological L-methionine overproduction in C. glutamicum. C. glutamicum DeltamcbR, however, did not overproduce L-methionine; this was very likely linked to the low availability of NADPH. Since oxidative stress is often observed in industrial production processes, engineering of NADPH metabolism could be a general strategy for improvement of production strains. Unlike the wild-type, C. glutamicum DeltamcbR contained large granules with high phosphorus content. The storage of these energy-rich polyphosphates is probably the result of a large excess of formation of ATP, as revealed by estimation of the underlying fluxes linked to energy metabolism.

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