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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Succinate metabolism and tricarboxylic acid cycle activity Tiwari, Narayan Prasad


Although the importance of tricarboxylic acid cycle activity in the metabolism of aerobic bacteria is well established, detailed studies on the utilization of intermediates of the cycle designed to assess the nature, importance and control of the enzymes concerned have not been performed with pseudomonads. Results of this investigation have shown that Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 lacks NAD or NADP linked L-malic dehydrogenase. Studies with cell fractions have shown that an NAD and NADP independent, particulate L-malic dehydrogenase catalyses the oxidation of L-malic acid to oxalacetic acid. The labelling patterns of citrate obtained from succinate-1,4-¹⁴ C and succinate-2,3-¹⁴ C have demonstrated the involvement of the particulate malic dehydrogenase and have excluded any other possibility. Phosphofructokinase could not be detected in the cell-free extract preparations and thus accounting for the non-functional Embden-Meyerhof pathway in this organism. Cells grown in succinate medium either do not have or have extremely low levels of glucose metabolizing enzymes. The glucose effect on tricarboxylic acid cycle enzymes was not observed. Further, the addition of α-keto- glutarate and glutamate to the medium did not repress these enzymes. These observations suggest that tricarboxylic acid cycle activity is of special importance for growth and metabolism in pseudomonads. The data have also indicated that during growth in a succinate medium, pentose synthesis must occur by the action of transketolase upon compounds derived from tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. It has been shown that both the glucose permease and the glucose metabolizing enzymes were induced simultaneously on shift from succinate to glucose medium. The glucose permease was found to be very specific since glucose uptake was not inhibited even in the presence of 100-fold excess of α-CH glucoside, 2-deoxyglucose, galactose, fructose or mannose. Particulate malic dehydrogenase was inhibited by adenine nucleotides while it was activated by GTP and GDP. The mechanism of this regulation is not clear, however, it is obviously important in the control of tricarboxylic acid cycle activity. Addition of glutamate to the medium repressed the synthesis of glutamic dehydrogenase. High levels of malic enzyme were maintained on growth in glucose and succinate media, whereas the levels were low in acetate medium. These observations demonstrated the capacity of the organism to regulate the synthesis of enzymes in response to the particular environment. Tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates and glyoxylate have been found to exert "fine control" over the activities of isocitrate dehydrogenase and isocitrate lyase in such a way that flow of isocitrate through the tricarboxylic acid cycle and the glyoxylate cycle is precisely regulated to suit the needs of the cell.

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