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

Pathway of glycogen metabolism in Methanococcus maripaludis.

Methanococcus maripaludis, a facultatively autotrophic archaebacterium that grows with H2 or formate as the electron donor, does not assimilate sugars and other complex organic substrates. However, glycogen is biosynthesized intracellularly and commonly reaches values of 0.34% of the cellular dry weight in the early stationary phase. To determine the pathway of glycogen catabolism, specific enzymes of sugar metabolism were assayed in cell extracts. The following enzymes were found (specific activity in milliunits per milligram of protein): glycogen phosphorylase, 4.4; phosphoglucomutase, 10; glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, 9; 6-phosphofructokinase, 5.6, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, 10; fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase, 4.2; triosephosphate isomerase, 44; glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, 26; phosphoglycerate kinase, 20; phosphoglycerate mutase, 78; enolase, 107; and pyruvate kinase, 4. 0. Glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase was NADP+ dependent, and the pyruvate kinase required MnCl2. The 6-phosphofructokinase had an unusually low pH optimum of 6. 0. Four nonoxidative pentose-biosynthetic enzymes were found (specific activity in milliunits per milligram of protein): transketolase, 12; transaldolase, 24; ribulose-5-phosphate-3-epimerase, 55; and ribulose-5-phosphate isomerase, 100. However, the key enzymes of the oxidative pentose phosphate pathway, the reductive pentose phosphate pathway, and the classical and modified Entner-Duodoroff pathways were not detected. Thus, glycogen appears to be catabolized by the Embden-Meyerhoff-Parnas pathway. This result is in striking contrast to the nonmethanogenic archaebacteria that have been examined, among which the Entner-Doudoroff pathway is common. A dithiothreitol-specific NADP(+)-reducing activity was also found (8.5 mU/mg of protein). Other thiol compounds, such as cysteine hydrochloride, reduced glutathione, and 2-mercaptoethanesulfonic acid, did not replace dithiothreitol for this activity. The physiological significance of this activity is not known.[1]


  1. Pathway of glycogen metabolism in Methanococcus maripaludis. Yu, J.P., Ladapo, J., Whitman, W.B. J. Bacteriol. (1994) [Pubmed]
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