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J Bacteriol. 1993 Jun;175(12):3776-83.

Genetics of serine pathway enzymes in Methylobacterium extorquens AM1: phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase and malyl coenzyme A lyase.

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Keck Laboratories, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena 91125.


Methylobacterium extorquens AM1 is a facultative methylotrophic bacterium that uses the serine pathway for formaldehyde incorporation as its assimilation pathway during growth on one-carbon compounds. A DNA region from M. extorquens AM1 previously shown to contain genes for the serine pathway enzymes malyl coenzyme A (CoA) lyase and hydroxypyruvate reductase has been characterized in more detail. Insertion mutagenesis revealed an additional region required for growth on one-carbon compounds, and all of the insertion mutants in this region lacked activity for another serine pathway enzyme, the acetyl-CoA-independent phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) carboxylase. Expression analysis with Escherichia coli of DNA fragments that included the malyl-CoA lyase and PEP carboxylase regions identified five polypeptides, all transcribed in the same direction. Three of these polypeptides were expressed from the region necessary for the acetyl-CoA-independent PEP carboxylase, one was expressed from the region containing the malyl-CoA lyase gene, and the fifth was expressed from a region immediately downstream from the gene encoding hydroxypyruvate reductase. All six genes are transcribed in the same direction, but the transposon insertion data suggest that they are not all cotranscribed.

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