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Biochem J. 1974 Dec;144(3):465-76.

The carbon assimilation pathways of Methylococcus capsulatus, Pseudomonas methanica and Methylosinus trichosporium (OB3B) during growth on methane.


d-arabino-3-Hexulose 6-phosphate was prepared by condensation of formaldehyde with ribulose 5-phosphate in the presence of 3-hexulose phosphate synthase from methane-grown Methylococcus capsulatus. The 3-hexulose phosphate was unstable in solutions of pH greater than 3, giving a mixture of products in which, after dephosphorylation, allulose and fructose were detected. A complete conversion of d-ribulose 5-phosphate and formaldehyde into d-fructose 6-phosphate was demonstrated in the presence of 3-hexulose phosphate synthase and phospho-3-hexuloisomerase (prepared from methane-grown M. capsulatus). d-Allulose 6-phosphate was prepared from d-allose by way of d-allose 6-phosphate. No evidence was found for its metabolism by extracts of M. capsulatus, thus eliminating it as an intermediate in the carbon assimilation process of this organism. A survey was made of the enzymes involved in the regeneration of pentose phosphate during C(1) assimilation via a modified pentose phosphate cycle. On the basis of the presence of the necessary enzymes, two alternative routes for cleavage of fructose 6-phosphate are suggested, one route involves fructose diphosphate aldolase and the other 6-phospho-2-keto-3-deoxygluconate aldolase. A detailed formulation of the complete ribulose monophosphate cycle of formaldehyde fixation is presented. The energy requirements for carbon assimilation by this cycle are compared with those for the serine pathway and the ribulose diphosphate cycle of carbon dioxide fixation. A cyclic scheme for oxidation of formaldehyde via 6-phosphogluconate is suggested.

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