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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

High-affinity maltose binding and transport by the thermophilic anaerobe Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus 39E.

Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus is a gram-positive thermophile that produces considerable amounts of ethanol from soluble sugars and polymeric substrates, including starch. Growth on maltose, a product of starch hydrolysis, was associated with the production of a prominent membrane-associated protein that had an apparent molecular weight of 43,800 and was not detected in cells grown on xylose or glucose. Filter-binding assays revealed that cell membranes bound maltose with high affinity. Metabolic labeling of T. ethanolicus maltose-grown cells with [(14)C]palmitic acid showed that this protein was posttranslationally acylated. A maltose-binding protein was purified by using an amylose resin affinity column, and the binding constant was 270 nM. Since maltase activity was found only in the cytosol of fractionated cells and unlabeled glucose did not compete with radiolabeled maltose for uptake in whole cells, it appeared that maltose was transported intact. In whole-cell transport assays, the affinity for maltose was approximately 40 nM. Maltotriose and alpha-trehalose competitively inhibited maltose uptake in transport assays, whereas glucose, cellobiose, and a range of disaccharides had little effect. Based on these results, it appears that T. ethanolicus possesses a high-affinity, ABC type transport system that is specific for maltose, maltotriose, and alpha-trehalose.[1]


  1. High-affinity maltose binding and transport by the thermophilic anaerobe Thermoanaerobacter ethanolicus 39E. Jones, C.R., Ray, M., Dawson, K.A., Strobel, H.J. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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