The functional structure of central carbon metabolism in Pseudomonas putida KT2440

Applied and Environmental Microbiology
Suresh SudarsanAndreas Schmid


What defines central carbon metabolism? The classic textbook scheme of central metabolism includes the Embden-Meyerhof-Parnas (EMP) pathway of glycolysis, the pentose phosphate pathway, and the citric acid cycle. The prevalence of this definition of central metabolism is, however, equivocal without experimental validation. We address this issue using a general experimental approach that combines the monitoring of transcriptional and metabolic flux changes between steady states on alternative carbon sources. This approach is investigated by using the model bacterium Pseudomonas putida with glucose, fructose, and benzoate as carbon sources. The catabolic reactions involved in the initial uptake and metabolism of these substrates are expected to show a correlated change in gene expressions and metabolic fluxes. However, there was no correlation for the reactions linking the 12 biomass precursor molecules, indicating a regulation mechanism other than mRNA synthesis for central metabolism. This result substantiates evidence for a (re)definition of central carbon metabolism including all reactions that are bound to tight regulation and transcriptional invariance. Contrary to expectations, the canonical Entner-Doudoroff and EMP pathwa...Continue Reading


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