Molecular and General Genetics MGG

, Volume 192, Issue 1–2, pp 15–20 | Cite as

Escherichia coli K12 mutants defective in the glycine cleavage enzyme system

  • Michael D. Plamann
  • William D. Rapp
  • George V. Stauffer


Two routes of one-carbon biosynthesis have been described in Escherichia coli K12. One is from serine via the serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) reaction, and the other is from glycine via the glycine cleavage (GCV) enzyme system. To isolate mutants deficient in the GCV pathway, we used a selection procedure that is based on the assumption that loss of this enzyme system in strains blocked in serine biosynthesis results in their inability to use glycine as a serine source. Mutants were accordingly isolated that grow with a serine supplement, but not with a glycine supplement. Enzyme assays demonstrated that three independently isolated mutants have no detectable GCV enzyme activity. The absence of a functional GCV pathway results in the excretion of glycine, but has no affect on the cell's primary source of one-carbon units, the SHMT reaction. The new mutations, designated gcv, were mapped between the serA and lysA genes on the E. coli chromosome.


Enzyme Escherichia Coli Enzyme Activity Glycine Serine 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



serine hydroxymethyltransferase


glycine cleavage


methylene THF










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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael D. Plamann
    • 1
  • William D. Rapp
    • 1
  • George V. Stauffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of MicrobiologyUniversity of IowaIowa CityUSA

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