May 28, 2019

Chemical and Metabolic Controls on Dihydroxyacetone Metabolism Lead to Suboptimal Growth of Escherichia coli

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Camille PeiroStéphanie Heux


In this work, we shed light on the metabolism of dihydroxyacetone (DHA), a versatile, ubiquitous, and important intermediate for various chemicals in industry, by analyzing its metabolism at the system level in Escherichia coli Using constraint-based modeling, we show that the growth of E. coli on DHA is suboptimal and identify the potential causes. Nuclear magnetic resonance analysis shows that DHA is degraded nonenzymatically into substrates known to be unfavorable to high growth rates. Transcriptomic analysis reveals that DHA promotes genes involved in biofilm formation, which may reduce the bacterial growth rate. Functional analysis of the genes involved in DHA metabolism proves that under the aerobic conditions used in this study, DHA is mainly assimilated via the dihydroxyacetone kinase pathway. In addition, these results show that the alternative routes of DHA assimilation (i.e., the glycerol and fructose-6-phosphate aldolase pathways) are not fully activated under our conditions because of anaerobically mediated hierarchical control. These pathways are therefore certainly unable to sustain fluxes as high as the ones predicted in silico for optimal aerobic growth on DHA. Overexpressing some of the genes in these pathways...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biochemical Pathway
Docosahexaenoic acid
Regulation of Biological Process
Drug Industry
Fructose 1-Phosphate Aldolase
Glycerol 2-dehydrogenase (NADP+) Activity

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