SUMMARY: Lipoic acid () and 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase () mutants of K12 exhibit a requirement for exogenous succinate during aerobic growth on glucose minimal medium. Reversion studies have shown that this requirement can be suppressed by -linked mutations which inactivate succinate dehydrogenase. Biochemical and genetic studies confirmed that the succinate dehydrogenase gene () is affected and that suppression is mediated by the same intergenic and indirect mechanism that generates succinate independence in partial revertants of lipoamide dehydrogenase mutants (Creaghan & Guest, 1977).

A series of isogenic strains containing all combinations of mutations affecting 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase (), succinate dehydrogenase (), isocitrate lyase () and fumarate reductase () in a background lacking succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase, was constructed to assess the importance of these enzymes as sources of endogenous succinate (succinyl-CoA) during aerobic and anaerobic growth on glucose. Only strains combining a deficiency in 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase with the presence of an active succinate dehydrogenase required succinate for aerobic growth. In all mutants, including the triple mutant (), the succinate requirement was suppressed by inactivating succinate dehydrogenase. The aerobic growth rates of succinate-independent strains were most affected by lack of isocitrate lyase but only two mutants ( and ) grew faster with added succinate: the growth yields were lowered by deficiencies in isocitrate lyase and also succinate dehydrogenase. It is concluded that very little succinate is needed for biosynthesis during aerobic growth on glucose and the requirement for relatively high concentrations of succinate (2 mM) by mutants lacking 2-oxoglutarate dehydrogenase or related functions stems from the presence of active succinate dehydrogenase. Anaerobically, either isocitrate lyase or fumarate reductase is essential for succinate-independent growth on glucose.


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