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

Initial catabolism of sorbitol in Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces viscosus.

The initial steps of sorbitol catabolism were studied in 4 strains of Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces viscosus that had been isolated from human dental plaque. Cell-free extracts were prepared from cells grown in the presence of either sorbitol, xylitol or glucose. The extracts from all strains grown on sorbitol had nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked dehydrogenase activities for sorbitol and xylitol and reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked reductase activities for fructose and xylulose. Two of the strains also exhibited these activities when grown in the presence of xylitol, and all glucose-grown cells lacked them. The results indicate that sorbitol metabolism in oral actinomyces involve oxidation of sorbitol to fructose by an inducible enzyme, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-linked sorbitol dehydrogenase. This step is followed by the phosphorylation of fructose with guanosine triphosphate as a main phosphoryl donor. Thus, the initial catabolic pathway of sorbitol in A. naeslundii and A. viscosus is different from those described for other oral bacteria.[1]


  1. Initial catabolism of sorbitol in Actinomyces naeslundii and Actinomyces viscosus. Kalfas, S., Takahashi, N., Yamada, T. Oral Microbiol. Immunol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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