Respiratory Chain and Energy Metabolism of Corynebacterium glutamicum
The production from carbohydrates of glutamic acid as well as amino acids of the aspartic acid family is carried out industrially by a group of bacteria represented by Corynebacterium glutamicum. C. glutamicum is a Gram-positive facultative aerobe with a thick cell wall comprising, besides the peptidoglycan layer, a layer of mycolic acid and arabinogalactan. This bacterium has exacting nutritional requirements, as exemplified by its requirement for biotin and thiamine (vitamin B1) for growth (Kinoshita 1972). Industrially, glutamate production is induced by various stresses such as biotin limitation or the addition of surfactants or antibiotics, which may alter the cell membrane tension or induce an exporter as well as lead to the reduction of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase activity that in turn affects the flow of the TCA cycle. Albeit the molecular events associated with these phenotypes are still to this date not fully understood, glutamate production in C. glutamicum is related to the cell surface structure (cell membranes) and the metabolic flux (especially through the TCA cycle) since these are deeply involved in cellular energetics. The respiratory chain and energy metabolism are described in this chapter from an energetics point of view. Especially, the unique NADH re-oxidation systems are described including their possible role in the metabolism of this bacterium.
KeywordsRespiratory Chain NADH Dehydrogenase NADH Oxidation NADH Oxidase Glutamate Production
The author thanks Prof. Atsushi Yokota, Hokkaido University, for his critical reading and suggestions for this chapter.
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