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Citrate metabolism in anaerobic bacteria

Garabed Antranikian, Friedrich Giffhorn
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1574-6968.1987.tb02458.x 175-198 First published online: 1 June 1987


The regulation of anaerobic citrate metabolism is very diverse among different groups of bacteria. In organisms like Streptococcus lactis and Clostridium sporosphaeroides which lack citrate synthase, the activity of its antagonistic enzyme, citrate lyase, need not be regulated. Many anaerobes like Rhodocyclus gelatinosus and Clostridium sphenoides are able to synthesize their own l-glutamate and contain citrate synthase. In these bacteria the activity of citrate metabolizing enzymes which are involved in a cascade system are under strict control. In Rc. gelatinosus activation/inactivation of citrate lyase is controlled by acetylation/deacetylation which is catalyzed by its corresponding regulatory enzymes, citrate lyase ligase and citrate lyase deacetylase. In C. sphenoides inactivation of citrate lyase is accomplished by deacetylation as well as by changing in the enzyme conformation. Activation of citrate lyase is catalyzed by citrate lyase ligase whose activity in addition is modulated by phosphorylation/dephosphorylation. Further, electron transport process also seems to play a role in the inactivation of citrate metabolizing enzymes in enteric bacteria.

Key words
  • Citrate lyase regulation
  • Acetylation/deacetylation
  • Phosphorylation/dephosphorylation
  • Effect of glutamate

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