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J Bacteriol. 1981 Dec;148(3):926-32.

Regulation of coenzyme A biosynthesis.


Coenzyme A (CoA) and acyl carrier protein are two cofactors in fatty acid metabolism, and both possess a 4'-phosphopantetheine moiety that is metabolically derived from the vitamin pantothenate. We studied the regulation of the metabolic pathway that gives rise to these two cofactors in an Escherichia coli beta-alanine auxotroph, strain SJ16. Identification and quantitation of the intracellular and extracellular beta-alanine-derived metabolites from cells grown on increasing beta-alanine concentrations were performed. The intracellular content of acyl carrier protein was relatively insensitive to beta-alanine input, whereas the CoA content increased as a function of external beta-alanine concentration, reaching a maximum at 8 microM beta-alanine. Further increase in the beta-alanine concentration led to the excretion of pantothenate into the medium. Comparing the amount of pantothenate found outside the cell to the level of intracellular metabolites demonstrates that E. coli is capable of producing 15-fold more pantoic acid than is required to maintain the intracellular CoA content. Therefore, the supply of pantoic acid is not a limiting factor in CoA biosynthesis. Wild-type cells also excreted pantothenate into the medium, showing that the beta-alanine supply is also not rate limiting in CoA biogenesis. Taken together, the results point to pantothenate kinase as the primary enzymatic step that regulates the CoA content of E. coli.

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