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Eur J Biochem. 1988 Oct 1;176(3):497-508.

Citric-acid cycle, 50 years on. Modifications and an alternative pathway in anaerobic bacteria.

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Laboratorium für Mikrobiologie, Philipps-Universität, Marburg, Federal Republic of Germany.


Many anaerobic bacteria can completely oxidize organic matter to CO2 with either sulfur, sulfate, or protons as electron acceptor. The sulfur-reducing bacteria and one genus of sulfate reducers use a modified citric-acid cycle with a novel anaplerotic sequence as pathway of terminal respiration. All other anaerobes use an alternative pathway, in which carbon monoxide dehydrogenase is a key enzyme and in which acetyl-CoA is cleaved into two C1 units at the oxidation level of CH3OH and CO. Thus almost 50 years after the discovery of the citric acid cycle by Hans Krebs in 1937, a second pathway for acetyl-CoA oxidation was found.

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