, Volume 150, Issue 4, pp 363-367

Temperature-sensitive murein synthesis in an Escherichia coli pdx mutant and the role of alanine racemase

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The basis for disruption of morphogenesis by depletion of pyridoxine derivatives was studied using a pdxH null mutant of Escherichia coli K-12. Removal of pyridoxal from growing cultures severely inhibited murein synthesis in vivo, whereas simultaneous supplementation with d-alanine effectively prevented inhibition. Extractable alanine racemase was low following such starvation. Selection of mutants overcoming the glycine- or temperature-sensitivity imposed by pyridoxine limitation yielded a variety of phenotypes. The most effective of these extragenic suppressors conferred an elevated alanine racemase activity which was resistant to the effects of pyridoxal removal.