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J Bacteriol. 2013 Jun;195(11):2573-84. doi: 10.1128/JB.01629-12. Epub 2013 Mar 29.

Maltose uptake by the novel ABC transport system MusEFGK2I causes increased expression of ptsG in Corynebacterium glutamicum.

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Institute of Biochemistry, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany.


The Gram-positive Corynebacterium glutamicum efficiently metabolizes maltose by a pathway involving maltodextrin and glucose formation by 4-α-glucanotransferase, glucose phosphorylation by glucose kinases, and maltodextrin degradation via maltodextrin phosphorylase and α-phosphoglucomutase. However, maltose uptake in C. glutamicum has not been investigated. Interestingly, the presence of maltose in the medium causes increased expression of ptsG in C. glutamicum by an unknown mechanism, although the ptsG-encoded glucose-specific EII permease of the phosphotransferase system itself is not required for maltose utilization. We identified the maltose uptake system as an ABC transporter encoded by musK (cg2708; ATPase subunit), musE (cg2705; substrate binding protein), musF (cg2704; permease), and musG (cg2703; permease) by combination of data obtained from characterization of maltose uptake and reanalyses of transcriptome data. Deletion of the mus gene cluster in C. glutamicum Δmus abolished maltose uptake and utilization. Northern blotting and reverse transcription-PCR experiments revealed that musK and musE are transcribed monocistronically, whereas musF and musG are part of an operon together with cg2701 (musI), which encodes a membrane protein of unknown function with no homologies to characterized proteins. Characterization of growth and [(14)C]maltose uptake in the musI insertion strain C. glutamicum IMcg2701 showed that musI encodes a novel essential component of the maltose ABC transporter of C. glutamicum. Finally, ptsG expression during cultivation on different carbon sources was analyzed in the maltose uptake-deficient strain C. glutamicum Δmus. Indeed, maltose uptake by the novel ABC transport system MusEFGK2I is required for the positive effect of maltose on ptsG expression in C. glutamicum.

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