Central Metabolism: Sugar Uptake and Conversion

Authored by: A. Yokota , N.D. Lindley

Handbook of Corynebacterium glutamicum

Print publication date:  March  2005
Online publication date:  March  2005

Print ISBN: 9780849318214
eBook ISBN: 9781420039696
Adobe ISBN:


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Corynebacterium glutamicum and related species (e.g., C. efficiens and C. ammo-niagenes) are used extensively by industry to produce a variety of amino acids and nucleotides at high yields from sugar substrates. These cellular building blocks draw carbon metabolites from central metabolism at different levels within the catabolic network and have an altered cofactor demand, both of which lead to carbon flux patterns explicitly different from those seen under pure growth conditions. Initial strain improvement programs for biotechnological exploitation of C. glutamicum were primarily aimed at genetic selection of strains with modified characteristics within the biosynthetic pathway of the specific product, notably by selection of gene products rendered less sensitive to feedback inhibition mechanisms [8]. This has led to efficient bioconversion processes, but it is now recognized that continued increases in performance also require fine-tuning of the central pathways to better balance the carbon precursor and cofactor requirements feeding the anabolic pathways. In this respect C. glutamicum has become a model organism in the study of metabolic flux analysis and many of the flux studies have gone some way toward overcoming an underlying lack of basic information concerning many of the catabolic reactions. Thus, in contrast with many microorganisms, pathway flux has been measured experimentally prior to the detailed study of individual reactions. In this chapter, the sugar uptake reactions and initial pathways involved in sugar catabolism (glycolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway) are reviewed.

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