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

Coupling of alanine racemase and D-alanine dehydrogenase to active transport of amino acids in Escherichia coli B membrane vesicles.

Isolated membrane vesicles from Escherichia coli B grown on DL-alanine-glycerol carry out amino acid active transport coupled to D-alanine oxidation by a membrane-bound dehydrogenase. Several other D-amino acids are substrates for this D-alanine dehydrogenase and also drive concentrative uptake of solutes. Additionally, L-alanine and L-serine can energize solute transport by virtue of conversion to oxidizable D isomers by a membrane-bound alanine racemase. No other physiological L-amino acids were effective. Both membrane enzymes and consequent solute transport are markedly reduced in vesicles from glucose-grown cells. Respiratory chain uncouplers abolish the racemase-dehydrogenase-supported transport activity. When amino-oxyacetate at 10-4 M is added to the vesicles, the racemase activity and transport driven by L-alanine and L-serine is specifically and reversibly inhibited. D-Alanine-driven transport is unaffected. Similarly beta-chloro-L-alanine is an irreversible inactivator of the bound racemase but not the D-alanine dehydrogenase. Both the D and L isomers of beta-chloroalanine support oxygen uptake by the vesicles and initially stimulate L-(14C)proline active transport. However, oxidation of the beta-chloro-D-alanine rapidly uncouples active transport from substrate oxidation. This transport inactivation can be protected partially by dithiothreitol, putatively scavenging a reactive product of chloroalanine oxidation. Authentic beta-chloropyruvate produces the same transport uncoupling. When beta-chloro-L-alanine is employed as a substrate, no such transport inactivation is observed. This difference may stem from the possibility that the alanine racemase eliminates HCl from beta-chloro-L-alanine producing pyruvate, not the beta-chloropyruvate that would arise from racemization and then dehydrogenation. We have shown that exogenous pyruvate is oxidized by the vesicles and will also stimulate active transport of amino acids.[1]


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