Effects of fatty acids on growth and envelope proteins of Bacillus subtilis.

Journal of Bacteriology
C W Sheu, E Freese

Abstract

Fatty acids of different chain lengths were added to cultures of Bacillus subtilis growing in nutrient sporulation medium, and the effects of these fatty acids on growth, oxygen uptake, adenosine triphosphate (ATP) concentration, and membrane protein composition were examined. All fatty acids inhibited growth, the effect being reduced in the presence of glycolytic compounds and reversed by transfer to medium without fatty acids. The inhibition of growth was correlated with a reduction in both the rate of oxygen consumption and the concentration of ATP per cell. The concentration required to obtain a certain degree of inhibition increased with decreasing molecular weight of the fatty acid. However, the reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide oxidation system of cell envelope preparations (i.e., the electron transport system) was not inhibited. Submaximal growth inhibition was accompanied by the relative increase of a membrane protein band revealed by urea-acetic acid gel electrophoresis. This increase was blocked by actinomycin or chloramphenicol. All of the above changes could also be produced by 2,4-dinitrophenol. The inhibition results are best explained by assuming that the fatty acids reversibly react with the cell membra...Continue Reading

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