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

Metabolic effects of inhibitors of two enzymes of the branched-chain amino acid pathway in Salmonella typhimurium.

The metabolic effects of inhibitors of two enzymes in the pathway for biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids were examined in Salmonella typhimurium mutant strain TV105, expressing a single isozyme of acetohydroxy acid synthase (AHAS), AHAS isozyme II. One inhibitor was the sulfonylurea herbicide sulfometuron methyl (SMM), which inhibits this isozyme and AHAS of other organisms, and the other was N-isopropyl oxalylhydroxamate (IpOHA), which inhibits ketol-acid reductoisomerase (KARI). The effects of the inhibitors on growth, levels of several enzymes of the pathway, and levels of intermediates of the pathway were measured. The intracellular concentration of the AHAS substrate 2-ketobutyrate increased on addition of SMM, but a lack of correlation between increased ketobutyrate and growth inhibition suggests that the former is not the immediate cause of the latter. The levels of the keto acid precursor of valine, but not of the precursor of isoleucine, were drastically decreased by SMM, and valine, but not isoleucine, partially overcame SMM inhibition. This apparent stronger effect of SMM on the flux into the valine arm, as opposed to the isoleucine arm, of the branched-chain amino acid pathway is explained by the kinetics of the AHAS reaction, as well as by the different roles of pyruvate, ketobutyrate, and the valine precursor in metabolism. The organization of the pathway thus potentiates the inhibitory effect of SMM. IpOHA has strong initial effects at lower concentrations than does SMM and leads to increases both in the acetohydroxy acid substrates of KARI and, surprisingly, in ketobutyrate. Valine completely protected strain TV105 from IpOHA at the MIC. A number of explanations for this effect can be ruled out, so that some unknown arrangement of the enzymes involved must be suggested. IpOHA led to initial cessation of growth, with partial recovery after a time whose duration increased with the inhibitor concentration. The recovery is apparently due to induction of new KARI synthesis, as well as disappearance of IpOHA from the medium.[1]


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