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Concentration-dependent repression of the soluble and membrane components of the Streptococcus mutans phosphoenolpyruvate: sugar phosphotransferase system by glucose.

  • I R Hamilton
  • L Gauthier
  • B Desjardins
  • C Vadeboncoeur
Publication Date
Jun 01, 1989
  • Biology


Growth of Streptococcus mutans Ingbritt in continuous culture (pH 7.0, dilution rate of 0.1 h-1) at medium glucose concentrations above 2.6 mM resulted in repression of the sugar-specific membrane components, enzyme IIGlc (EIIGlc) and EIIMan, of the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS). In one experiment, significant repression (27-fold) was observed with 73 mM glucose when the glycolytic capacity of the cells was reduced by only 2-fold and when the culture was still glucose limited. In a more comprehensive experiment in which cells were grown in continuous culture at eight glucose concentrations from 2.6 to 304 mM, in addition to repression of specific EII activities for glucose, mannose, 2-deoxyglucose, and fructose, synthesis of the general protein, EI, was repressed at all glucose levels above 2.6 mM to a maximum of 4-fold at 304 mM glucose when the culture was growing with excess glucose (i.e., nitrogen limited). The other PTS general protein, HPr, was less sensitive to the exogenous glucose level but was nevertheless repressed fourfold under glucose-excess conditions. The Km for glucose for EIIGlc increased from 0.22 mM during growth at 3.6 mM glucose (glucose limited) to 0.48 mM at 271 mM glucose (glucose excess). The shift from heterofermentation to homofermentation during growth with increasing glucose levels suggests the involvement of glycolytic intermediates, ATP, or another high-energy phosphate metabolite in regulation of the synthesis of the PTS components in S. mutans.

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