Glutamate is a major source of energy for species but its mode of catabolism has not hitherto been elucidated. Cell suspensions of and , as representative species from the oral cavity and gastrointestinal tract, respectively, both decarboxylated position-labelled glutamate but by different pathways. CO was released only from C-5 by whereas decarboxylated glutamate at either C-1 or C-5. In both species, 2 mols of glutamate fermented yielded 2 mols of acetate and 1 mol of butyrate, suggesting the possibility of three metabolic pathways: the 2-oxoglutarate, mesaconate and 4-aminobutyrate pathways. Enzymes representative of the three pathways were assayed for in cell-free extracts of fusobacteria. All species tested possessed high levels of both glutamate dehydrogenase and 2-oxoglutarate reductase, indicating the presence of the 2-oxoglutarate pathway. Enzymes representative of the mesaconate pathway were detected in , , and , while the latter two species also possessed the 4-aminobutyrate pathway. The pathways of glutamate catabolism therefore bore no relationship to the site of isolation of the fusobacteria tested but instead correlated with their chemotaxonomic properties. Thus, , , and , which possess a peptidoglycan structure based on diaminopimelic acid, have either two or three pathways for glutamate catabolism whereas and other species that have a lanthionine-based murein metabolized glutamate solely by the 2-oxoglutarate pathway.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Most cited this month

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error