Conversion of L-leucine to isovaleric acid by Propionibacterium freudenreichii TL 34 and ITGP23

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Anne ThierryMireille Yvon


Several branched-chain volatile compounds are involved in the flavor of Swiss cheese. These compounds are probably produced by enzymatic conversion of branched-chain amino acids, but the flora and the pathways involved remain hypothetical. Our aim was to determine the ability of Propionibacterium freudenreichii, which is one of the main components of the secondary flora of Swiss cheese, to produce flavor compounds during leucine catabolism. Cell extracts and resting cells of two strains were incubated in the presence of L-leucine, alpha-ketoglutaric acid, and cofactors, and the metabolites produced were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography and gas chromatography. The first step of leucine catabolism was a transamination that produced alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, which was enzymatically converted to isovaleric acid. Both reactions were faster at pH 8.0 than at acidic pHs. Cell extracts catalyzed only the transamination step under our experimental conditions. Small amounts of 3-methylbutanol were also produced by resting cells, but neither 3-methylbutanal noralpha-hydroxyisocaproic acid was detected. L-Isoleucine and L-valine were also converted to the corresponding acids and alcohols. Isovaleric acid was produced b...Continue Reading


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Related Concepts

Isovaleric acid
alpha-ketoisocaproic acid, sodium salt
Keto Acids
Pentanoic Acids

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