, Volume 230, Issue 1-2, pp 161-169

Organization and characterization of three genes involved in d-xylose catabolism in Lactobacillus pentosus

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A cluster of three genes involved in d-xylose catabolism (viz. xylose genes) in Lactobacillus pentosus has been cloned in Escherichia coli and characterized by nucleotide sequence analysis. The deduced gene products show considerable sequence similarity to a repressor protein involved in the regulation of expression of xylose genes in Bacillus subtilis (58%), to E. coli and B. subtilis d-xylose isomerase (68% and 77%, respectively), and to E. coli d-xylulose kinase (58%). The cloned genes represent functional xylose genes since they are able to complement the inability of a L. casei strain to ferment d-xylose. NMR analysis confirmed that 13C-xylose was converted into 13C-acetate in L. casei cells transformed with L. pentosus xylose genes but not in untransformed L. casei cells. Comparison with the aligned amino acid sequences of d-xylose isomerases of different bacteria suggests that L. pentosus d-xylose isomerase belongs to the same similarity group as B. subtilis and E. coli d-xylose isomerase and not to a second similarity group comprising d-xylose isomerases of Streptomyces violaceoniger, Ampullariella sp. and Actinoplanes. The organization of the L. pentosus xylose genes, 5′-xylR (1167 bp, repressor) — xylA (1350 bp, D-xylose isomerase) — xylB (1506 bp, d-xylulose kinase) — 3′ is similar to that in B. subtilis. In contrast to B. subtilis xylR, L. pentosus xylR is transcribed in the same direction as xylA and xylB.