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Metabolism of RNA-ribose by Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus during intraperiplasmic growth on Escherichia coli.

  • Hespell, R B
  • Odelson, D A
Published Article
Journal of bacteriology
Publication Date
Dec 01, 1978
PMID: 363699


During intraperiplasmic growth of Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus 109J on Escherichia coli some 30 to 60% of the initial E. coli RNA-ribose disappeared as cell-associated orcinol-positive material. The levels of RNA-ribose in the suspending buffer after growth together with the RNA-ribose used for bdellovibrio DNA synthesis accounted for 50% or less of the missing RNA-ribose. With intraperiplasmic growth in the presence of added U-14C-labeled CMP, GMP, or UMP, radioactivity was found both in the respired CO2 and incorporated into the bdellovibrio cell components. The addition of exogenous unlabeled ribonucleotides markedly reduced the amounts of both the 14CO2 and 14C incorporated into the progeny bdellovibrios. During intraperiplasmic growth of B. bacteriovorus on [U-14C]ribose-labeled E. coli BJ565, ca. 74% and ca. 19% of the initial 14C was incorporated into the progeny bdellovibrios and respired CO2, respectively. Under similar growth conditions, the addition of glutamate substantially reduced only the 14CO2; however, added ribonucleotides reduced both the 14CO2 and the 14C incorporated into the progeny bdellovibrios. No similar effects were found with added ribose-5-phosphate. The distribution of 14C in the major cell components was similar in progeny bdellovibrios whether obtained from growth on [U-14C]ribose-labeled E. coli BJ565 or from E. coli plus added U-14C-labeled ribonucleotides. After intraperiplasmic growth of B. bacteriovorus on [5,6-3H-]uracil-[U-14C]ribose-labeled E. coli BJ565 (normal or heat treated), the whole-cell 14C/3H ratio of the progeny bdellovibrios was some 50% greater and reflected the higher 14C/3H ratios found in the cell fractions. B. bacteriovorus and E. coli cell extracts both contained 5'-nucleotidase, uridine phosphorylase, purine phosphorylase, deoxyribose-5-phosphate aldolase, transketolase, thymidine phosphorylase, phosphodeoxyribomutase, and transaldolase enzyme activities. The latter three enzyme activities were either absent or very low in cell extracts prepared from heat-treated E. coli cells. It is concluded that during intraperiplasmic growth B. bacteriovorus degrades some 20 to 40% of the ribonucleotides derived from the initial E. coli RNA into the base and ribose-1-phosphate moieties. The ribose-1-phosphate is further metabolized by B. bacteriovorus both for energy production and for biosynthesis, of non-nucleic acid cell material. In addition, the data indicate that during intraperiplasmic growth B. bacteriovorus can metabolize ribose only if this compound is available to it as the ribonucleoside monophosphate.

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