Convergent Pathways of Sugar Catabolism in Bacteria

  • Ronald A. Cooper


At first sight, bacteria appear to have a multiplicity of pathways for sugar degradation since a wide variety of five- and six-carbon sugars, sugar alcohols, sugar acids, and amino sugars can be utilized. For example, the commonly studied organism Escherichia colt can use more than 30 different monosaccharides for growth. However, the situation is more straightforward than it seems since the pathways for the catabolism of these compounds are interlinked and, with very few exceptions, they all produce glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate, which is converted by a trunk pathway (Fig. 1) to a common product of all sugar degradation, pyruvate.


Triose Phosphate Sugar Acid Aerobacter Aerogenes Leloir Pathway Hexose Monophosphate Pathway 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ronald A. Cooper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiochemistryUniversity of LeicesterLeicesterUK

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