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

Toxic accumulation of alpha-ketobutyrate caused by inhibition of the branched-chain amino acid biosynthetic enzyme acetolactate synthase in Salmonella typhimurium.

Biochemical and genetic analyses of the bacterium Salmonella typhimurium suggest that accumulation of alpha-ketobutyrate partially mediates the herbicidal activity of acetolactate synthase inhibitors. Growth inhibition of wild-type bacteria by the herbicide sulfometuron methyl was prevented by supplementing the medium with isoleucine, an allosteric inhibitor of threonine deaminase-catalyzed synthesis of alpha-ketobutyrate. In contrast, isoleucine did not rescue the growth of a mutant containing a threonine deaminase unresponsive to isoleucine. Moreover, the hypersensitivity of seven Tn10 insertion mutants to growth inhibition by sulfometuron methyl and alpha-ketobutyrate correlated with their inability to convert alpha-ketobutyrate to less noxious metabolites. We propose that alpha-ketobutyrate accumulation is an important component of sulfonylurea and imidazolinone herbicide action.[1]


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