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Investigation of phosphorylation status of OdhI protein during penicillin- and Tween 40-triggered glutamate overproduction by Corynebacterium glutamicum

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Glutamate overproduction by Corynebacterium glutamicum is triggered by treatment with penicillin or Tween 40 and is accompanied by a decrease in 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase complex (ODHC) activity. We have reported that de novo synthesis of OdhI, which inhibits ODHC activity by interacting specifically with the E1o subunit of ODHC (OdhA), is induced by penicillin, and that odhI overexpression induces glutamate overproduction in the absence of any triggers for glutamate overproduction. In this study, to determine the function of OdhI in glutamate overproduction by C. glutamicum, changes in OdhI levels and phosphorylation status during penicillin- and Tween 40-induced glutamate overproduction were examined by western blot. The synthesis of both unphosphorylated and phosphorylated OdhI was increased by addition of Tween 40 or penicillin and the levels of unphosphorylated OdhI, which can inhibit ODHC activity, was significantly higher than those of phosphorylated OdhI, which is unable to inhibit ODHC activity. Meanwhile, the OdhA levels were maintained throughout the culture. These results indicate that OdhI synthesis is induced by additions of penicillin and Tween 40 and most synthesized OdhI is unphosphorylated, resulting in the decrease in ODHC activity and glutamate overproduction. Similarly, in the odhI-overexpressing strain, both unphosphorylated and phosphorylated OdhI were synthesized, while the levels of OdhA were nearly constant throughout culture. Our results suggest that high level of unphosphorylated OdhI regulates glutamate overproduction by C. glutamicum.

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This work was supported by a Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) to HS from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (No. 21360401) and a Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B) to TH from the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (No. 21780071). This work was also supported in part by the Global COE Program of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan.

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Correspondence to Takashi Hirasawa or Hiroshi Shimizu.

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Kim, J., Hirasawa, T., Saito, M. et al. Investigation of phosphorylation status of OdhI protein during penicillin- and Tween 40-triggered glutamate overproduction by Corynebacterium glutamicum . Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 91, 143–151 (2011).

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