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Mol Microbiol. 1996 May;20(3):605-11.

Internal pH crisis, lysine decarboxylase and the acid tolerance response of Salmonella typhimurium.

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Department of Biology, Korea University, Soeul, Korea.


Salmonella typhimurium possesses an adaptive response to acid that increases survival during exposure to extremely low pH values. The acid tolerance response (ATR) includes both log-phase and stationary-phase systems. The log-phase ATR appears to require two components for maximum acid tolerance, namely an inducible pH homeostasis system, and a series of acid-shock proteins. We have discovered one of what appears to be a series of inducible exigency pH homeostasis systems that contribute to acid tolerance in extreme acid environments. The low pH-inducible lysine decarboxylase was shown to contribute significantly to pH homeostasis in environments as low as pH 3.0. Under the conditions tested, both lysine decarboxylase and sigma s-dependent acid-shock proteins were required for acid tolerance but only lysine decarboxylase contributed to pH homeostasis. The cadBA operon encoding lysine decarboxylase and a lysine/cadaverine antiporter were cloned from S. typhimurium and were found to be 79% homologous to the cadBA operon from Escherichia coli. The results suggest that S. typhimurium has a variety of means of fulfilling the pH homeostasis requirement of the ATR in the form of inducible amino acid decarboxylases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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