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J Bacteriol. 1995 Feb;177(3):774-82.

Cloning, sequence analysis, expression, and inactivation of the Corynebacterium glutamicum icd gene encoding isocitrate dehydrogenase and biochemical characterization of the enzyme.

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  • 1Institut für Biotechnologie des Forschungszentrums Jülich, Germany.


NADP(+)-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenase (ICD) is an important enzyme of the intermediary metabolism, as it controls the carbon flux within the citric acid cycle and supplies the cell with 2-oxoglutarate and NADPH for biosynthetic purposes. In the amino acid-producing organism Corynebacterium glutamicum, the specific activity of ICD was independent of the growth substrate and of the growth phase at approximately 1 U/mg, indicating that this enzyme is constitutively formed. The ICD gene, icd, was isolated, subcloned on a plasmid, and introduced into C. glutamicum. Compared with the wild type, the recombinant strains showed up to 10-fold-higher specific ICD activities. The nucleotide sequence of a 3,595-bp DNA fragment containing the icd gene was determined. The predicted gene product of icd consists of 739 amino acids (M(r) = 80.091) and showed 58.5% identity with the monomeric ICD isozyme II from Vibrio sp. strain ABE-1 but no similarity to any known ICD of the dimeric type. Inactivation of the chromosomal icd gene led to glutamate auxotrophy and to the absence of any detectable ICD activity, suggesting that only a single ICD is present in C. glutamicum. From an icd-overexpressing C. glutamicum strain, ICD was purified and biochemically characterized. The native ICD was found to be a monomer; to be specific for NADP+; to be weakly inhibited by oxaloacetate, 2-oxoglutarate, and citrate; and to be severely inhibited by oxaloacetate plus glyoxylate. The data indicate that ICD from C. glutamicum is structurally similar to ICDs from bacteria of the genera Vibrio, Rhodomicrobium, and Azotobacter but different from all other known procaryotic and eucaryotic ICDs.

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