Engineering of carbon distribution between glycolysis and sugar nucleobiosynthesis in Lactococcus lactis

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We describe the effects of modulating the activities of glucokinase, phosphofructokinase, and phosphoglucomutase on the branching point between sugar degradation and the biosynthesis of sugar nucleotides involved in the production of exopolysaccharide biosynthesis by Lactococcus lactis. This was realized by using a described isogenic L. lactis mutant with reduced enzyme activities or by controlled expression of the well-characterized genes for phosphoglucomutase or glucokinase from Escherichia coli or Bacillus subtilis, respectively. The role of decreased metabolic flux was studied in L. lactis strains with decreased phosphofructokinase activities. The concomitant reduction of the activities of phosphofructokinase and other enzymes encoded by the las operon (lactate dehydrogenase and pyruvate kinase) resulted in significant changes in the concentrations of sugar-phosphates. In contrast, a >25-fold overproduction of glucokinase resulted in 7-fold-increased fructose-6-phosphate levels and 2-fold-reduced glucose-1-phosphate and glucose-6-phosphate levels. However, these increased sugar-phosphate concentrations did not affect the levels of sugar nucleotides. Finally, an similar to100-fold overproduction of phosphoglucomutase resulted in 5-fold-increased levels of both UDP-glucose and UDPgalactose. While the increased concentrations of sugar-phosphates or sugar nucleotides did not significantly affect the production of exopolysaccharides, they demonstrate the metabolic flexibility of L. lactis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1129-1135
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Publication statusPublished - 2003


  • controlled gene-expression
  • exopolysaccharide biosynthesis
  • streptococcus-thermophilus
  • subsp cremoris
  • cellular phosphoglucomutase
  • polysaccharide formation
  • rheological properties
  • escherichia-coli
  • acid bacteria
  • cloning

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