, Volume 215, Issue 2, pp 276-280

Anaerobic growth defects resulting from gene fusions affecting succinyl-CoA synthetase in Escherichia coli K12

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Insertion of the fusion-generating phage Mud1 (Ap, lacZ) yielded two similar isolates, DC511 and DC512, which were unable to grow aerobically on acetate or alphaketoglutarate but which could use succinate, malate, fumarate, glycerol, and various sugars. These mutants were unable to grow anaerobically on most sugars unless provided with methionine, lysine, and delta-aminolevulinic acid, all of which require succinyl-CoA for their synthesis. The insertions of both mutants mapped at 17 min, in the suc operon. Enzyme assays indicated a lack of succinyl-CoA synthetase; however, full activity of the alpha-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase was retained. Beta-galactosidase expression by strains containing these gene fusions was reduced under anaerobic conditions. In aerobically grown cultures, both fusions were induced about fivefold in the presence of acetate. This type of regulation would be expected of a Krebs cycle enzyme.

Communicated by J.W. Lengeler