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

Compensatory phosphorylation of isocitrate dehydrogenase. A mechanism for adaptation to the intracellular environment.

When Escherichia coli grows on acetate, the flow of isocitrate through the glyoxylate bypass is regulated, in part, through the phosphorylation of isocitrate dehydrogenase. In addition to its role in adaptation to alternative carbon sources, this phosphorylation system responds to variation in the intracellular level of isocitrate dehydrogenase. This system can compensate for changes in the cellular level of isocitrate dehydrogenase in excess of 10-fold, maintaining a nearly constant activity for isocitrate dehydrogenase during growth on acetate. The behavior of the phosphorylation system exhibited considerable strain-specific variation. This was most clearly demonstrated using mutants which lacked the ability to phosphorylate isocitrate dehydrogenase. In two strains, mutation of the gene for isocitrate dehydrogenase kinase/ phosphatase rendered the cells unable to grow on acetate. In contrast, a third strain was relatively insensitive to a mutation in this gene. This lack of phenotypic expression appears to result from a lower cellular level of isocitrate dehydrogenase in this strain which renders the phosphorylation (and consequent inhibition) of isocitrate dehydrogenase less essential. The gene for isocitrate dehydrogenase kinase/ phosphatase ( aceK) was located in the glyoxylate bypass operon, downstream from the genes for isocitrate lyase and malate synthase.[1]

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