Membrane ATPases and acid tolerance of Actinomyces viscosus and Lactobacillus casei.

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
G R Bender, R E Marquis


Lactobacillus casei ATCC 4646 and Actinomyces viscosus OMZ105E were found to differ markedly in acid tolerance. For example, pH profiles for glycolysis of intact cells in dense suspensions indicated that glycolysis by L. casei had an optimal pH of about 6.0 and that glucose degradation was reduced by 50% at a pH of 4.2. Comparable values for A. viscosus cells were at pHs of about 7.0 and 5.6. The difference in acid tolerance appeared to depend mainly on membrane physiology, and the addition of 40 microM gramicidin to cell suspensions increased the sensitivity of the glycolytic system by as much as 1.5 pH units for L. casei and up to 0.5 pH unit for A. viscosus. L. casei cells were inherently somewhat more resistant to severe acid damage than were A. viscosus cells, in that Mg release from L. casei cells in medium with a pH of 3.0 occurred only after a lag of some 4 h, compared with rapid release from A. viscosus cells. However, the major differences pertinent to the physiology of the organisms appeared to be related to proton-translocating ATPases. Isolated membranes of L. casei had about 3.29 U of ATPase per mg of protein, compared with only about 0.06 U per mg of protein for those of A. viscosus. Moreover, the ATPase of L. ca...Continue Reading


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