Growth of Lactococcus lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis was observed on media with citrate as the only energy source. At pH 5.6, steady state was achieved in a chemostat on a citrate-containing medium in the absence of a carbohydrate. Under these conditions, pyruvate, acetate, and some acetoin and butanediol were the main fermentation products. This indicated that energy was conserved in L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis during citrate metabolism and presumably during the conversion of citrate into pyruvate. The presumed energy-conserving step, decarboxylation of oxaloacetate, was studied in detail. Oxaloacetate decarboxylase was purified to homogeneity and characterized. The enzyme has a native molecular mass of approximately 300 kDa and consists of three subunits of 52, 34, and 12 kDa. The enzyme is apparently not sodium dependent and does not contain a biotin moiety, and it seems to be different from the energy-generating oxaloacetate decarboxylase from Klebsiella pneumoniae. Energy-depleted L. lactis subsp. lactis biovar diacetylactis cells generated a membrane potential and a pH gradient immediately upon addition of citrate, whereas ATP formation was slow and limited. In contrast, lactose energization resulted in rapid ATP formation and gradual generation of a proton motive force. These data were confirmed during studies on amino acid uptake. α-Aminoisobutyrate uptake was rapid but glutamate uptake was slow in citrate-energized cells, whereas lactose-energized cells showed the reverse tendency. These data suggest that, in L. lactis subsp. lactis bv. diacetylactis, a proton motive force could be generated during citrate metabolism as a result of electrogenic citrate uptake or citrate/product exchange together with proton consumption by the intracellular oxaloacetate decarboxylase.
|Journal||Applied and Environmental Microbiology|
|Publication status||Published - 1993|