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Glycine metabolism by Pseudomonas aeruginosa: hydrogen cyanide biosynthesis.

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  • Research Article


Hydrogen cyanide (HCN) production by Pseudomonas aeruginosa in a synthetic medium is stimulated by the presence of glycine. Methionine enhances this stimulation but will not substitute for glycine as a stimulator of cyanogenesis. Threonine and phenylalanine are effective substitutes for glycine in the stimulation of HCN production. Glycine, threonine, and serine are good radioisotope precursors of HCN, but methionine and phenylalanine are not. Cell extracts of P. aeruginosa convert [14C]threonine to [14C]glycine. H14CN is produced with low dilution of label from either [1-14C]glycine or [2-14C]glycine, indicating a randomization of label either in the primary or secondary metabolism of glycine. When whole cells were fed [1,2-14C]glycine, cyanide and bicarbonate were the only radioactive extracellular products observed.

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