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Global gene expression analysis of glucose overflow metabolism in Escherichia coli and reduction of aerobic acetate formation


During aerobic growth on glucose, Escherichia coli produces acetate in the so-called overflow metabolism. DNA microarray analysis was used to determine the global gene expression patterns of chemostat cultivations of E. coli MG1655 that were characterized by different acetate formation rates during aerobic growth on glucose. A correlation analysis identified that expression of ten genes (sdhCDAB, sucB, sucC, acnB, lpdA, fumC and mdh) encoding the TCA cycle enzymes succinate dehydrogenase, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase, succinyl-CoA synthetase, aconitase, fumarase and malate dehydrogenase, respectively, and of the acsyjcHactP operon for acetate utilization correlated negatively with acetate formation. Relieving transcriptional control of the sdhCDABb0725sucABCD operon by chromosomal promoter exchange mutagenesis yielded a strain with increased specific activities of the TCA cycle enzymes succinate dehydrogenase, α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase and succinyl-CoA synthetase, which are encoded by this operon. The resulting strain produced less acetate and directed more carbon towards carbon dioxide formation than the parent strain MG1655 while maintaining high growth and glucose consumption rates.

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We thank Hermann Sahm for the continuous support and Doris Rittmann for the technical assistance.

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Correspondence to Volker F. Wendisch.

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Andrea Veit and Tino Polen contributed equally to this work.

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Veit, A., Polen, T. & Wendisch, V.F. Global gene expression analysis of glucose overflow metabolism in Escherichia coli and reduction of aerobic acetate formation. Appl Microbiol Biotechnol 74, 406–421 (2007).

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  • Escherichia coli MG1655
  • Aerobic acetate formation
  • Overflow metabolism
  • TCA cycle
  • DNA microarray
  • Chemostat cultivation
  • Global gene expression analysis
  • Acetate switch