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Journal of biosciences

Structure and function of enzymes involved in the anaerobic degradation of L-threonine to propionate.


PMID 17954980

Abstract

In Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium, L-threonine is cleaved non-oxidatively to propionate via 2-ketobutyrate by biodegradative threonine deaminase, 2-ketobutyrate formate-lyase (or pyruvate formate-lyase), phosphotransacetylase and propionate kinase. In the anaerobic condition, L-threonine is converted to the energy-rich keto acid and this is subsequently catabolised to produce ATP via substrate-level phosphorylation, providing a source of energy to the cells. Most of the enzymes involved in the degradation of L-threonine to propionate are encoded by the anaerobically regulated tdc operon. In the recent past, extensive structural and biochemical studies have been carried out on these enzymes by various groups. Besides detailed structural and functional insights, these studies have also shown the similarities and differences between the other related enzymes present in the metabolic network. In this paper, we review the structural and biochemical studies carried out on these enzymes.