Summary: Derivatives of strain W3110 with increased tryptophan synthase (TS) activity were constructed. The biosynthesis of serine was shown to limit tryptophan production in minimal medium with indole as precursor. In the presence of serine and indole we obtained a correlation between the specific activity of TS and the specific productivity ( ) of tryptophan. Supplementation of the growth medium with glycine enhanced two-fold. In a strain with high serine hydroxymethyltransferase (SHMT) activity no such increase of tryptophan productivity was observed, although crude extracts from these cells were shown to produce tryptophan with indole, one-carbon units and glycine as precursors. Growth of the strain with high SHMT activity was inhibited in a medium with high glycine concentration. This inhibition could not be released by addition of isoleucine and valine. In a buffer system with permeabilized cells high in specific TS and SHMT activities we did not obtain any tryptophan production in presence of indole, glycine, one-carbon units and cofactors. On the other hand, in a buffer system with indole and serine as precursors we obtained high of tryptophan [13.3 g tryptophan (g dry wt cells) h], which was correlated to the TS specific activity.


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