News Column

New Metabolism Findings from Washington University Reported

May 30, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Science Letter -- Investigators publish new report on Metabolism. According to news originating from St. Louis, Missouri, by NewsRx correspondents, research stated, "The acetyl-CoA 'Wood-Ljungdahl' pathway couples the folate-mediated one-carbon (C1) metabolism to either CO2 reduction or acetate oxidation via acetyl-CoA. This pathway is distributed in diverse anaerobes and is used for both energy conservation and assimilation of C1 compounds."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from Washington University, "Genome annotations for all sequenced strains of Dehalococcoides mccartyi, an important bacterium involved in the bioremediation of chlorinated solvents, reveal homologous genes encoding an incomplete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway. Because this pathway lacks key enzymes for both C1 metabolism and CO2 reduction, its cellular functions remain elusive. Here we used D. mccartyi strain 195 as a model organism to investigate the metabolic function of this pathway and its impacts on the growth of strain 195. Surprisingly, this pathway cleaves acetyl-CoA to donate a methyl group for production of methyltetrahydrofolate (CH3-THF) for methionine biosynthesis, representing an unconventional strategy for generating CH3-THF in organisms without methylene-tetrahydrofolate reductase. Carbon monoxide (CO) was found to accumulate as an obligate by-product from the acetyl-CoA cleavage because of the lack of a CO dehydrogenase in strain 195. CO accumulation inhibits the sustainable growth and dechlorination of strain 195 maintained in pure cultures, but can be prevented by CO-metabolizing anaerobes that coexist with D. mccartyi, resulting in an unusual syntrophic association. We also found that this pathway incorporates exogenous formate to support serine biosynthesis."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "This study of the incomplete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway in D. mccartyi indicates a unique bacterial C1 metabolism that is critical for D. mccartyi growth and interactions in dechlorinating communities and may play a role in other anaerobic communities."

For more information on this research see: Incomplete Wood-Ljungdahl pathway facilitates one-carbon metabolism in organohalide-respiring Dehalococcoides mccartyi. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2014;111(17):6419-6424. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America can be contacted at: Natl Acad Sciences, 2101 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20418, USA. (National Academy of Sciences -; Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America -

The news correspondents report that additional information may be obtained from W.Q. Zhuang, Washington University, St Louis, MO 63130, United States. Additional authors for this research include S. Yi, M. Bill, V.L. Brisson, X.Y. Feng, Y.J. Men, M.E. Conrad, Y.J.J. Tang and L. Alvarez-Cohen (see also Metabolism).

Keywords for this news article include: Missouri, St. Louis, Metabolism, Organohalide, United States, Nanotechnology, Carbon Monoxide, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America

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Source: Science Letter

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