Apr 14, 2020

A new pathway for forming acetate and synthesizing ATP during fermentation in bacteria

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
B. ZhangTimothy Hackmann


Many bacteria and other organisms form acetate during fermentation. Forming acetate from high energy-precursors (acetyl-CoA or acetyl phosphate) is one of the few ways that fermentative bacteria generate ATP. Here we found a biochemical pathway for forming acetate and synthesizing ATP that was unknown in bacteria. We found the bacterium Cutibacterium granulosum formed acetate during fermentation of glucose. With enzymatic assays, we showed it formed acetate using a pathway involving two enzymes. The first enzyme, succinyl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase (SCACT), forms acetate from acetyl-CoA. The second enzyme, succinyl-CoA synthetase (SCS), synthesizes ATP. This pathway is common in eukaryotes, but it has not been found in bacteria or other organisms. We found two related bacteria (C. acnes and Acidipropionibacterium acidipropionici) also used this pathway. None used the most common pathway for forming acetate in bacteria (involving acetate kinase and phosphotransacetylase). The SCACT/SCS pathway may be used by many bacteria, not just C. granulosum and relatives. When we searched genomes for bacteria known to form acetate, we found over 1/6 encoded this pathway. These bacteria belong to 104 different species and subspecies in 12 d...Continue Reading

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