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

Maltose and maltotriose can be formed endogenously in Escherichia coli from glucose and glucose-1-phosphate independently of enzymes of the maltose system.

The maltose system in Escherichia coli consists of cell envelope-associated proteins and enzymes that catalyze the uptake and utilization of maltose and alpha,1-4-linked maltodextrins. The presence of these sugars in the growth medium induces the maltose system (exogenous induction), even though only maltotriose has been identified in vitro as an inducer (O. Raibaud and E. Richet, J. Bacteriol., 169:3059-3061, 1987). Induction is dependent on MalT, the positive regulator protein of the system. In the presence of exogenous glucose, the maltose system is normally repressed because of catabolite repression and inducer exclusion brought about by the phosphotransferase-mediated vectorial phosphorylation of glucose. In contrast, the increase of free, unphosphorylated glucose in the cell induces the maltose system. A ptsG ptsM glk mutant which cannot grow on glucose can accumulate [14C]glucose via galactose permeases. In this strain, internal glucose is polymerized to maltose, maltotriose, and maltodextrins in which only the reducing glucose residue is labeled. This polymerization does not require maltose enzymes, since it still occurs in malT mutants. Formation of maltodextrins from external glucose as well as induction of the maltose system is absent in a mutant lacking phosphoglucomutase, and induction by external glucose could be regained by the addition of glucose-1-phosphate entering the cells via a constitutive glucose phosphate transport system. malQ mutants, which lack amylomaltase, are constitutive for the expression of the maltose genes. This constitutive nature is due to the formation of maltose and maltodextrins from the degradation of glycogen.[1]


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