Journal of bacteriology

Genetic examination and mass balance analysis of pyruvate/amino acid oxidation pathways in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis.

PMID 25157082


The present study investigated the simultaneous oxidation of pyruvate and amino acids during H2-evolving growth of the hyperthermophilic archaeon Thermococcus kodakarensis. The comparison of mass balance between a cytosolic hydrogenase (HYH)-deficient strain (the ΔhyhBGSL strain) and the parent strain indicated that NADPH generated via H2 uptake by HYH was consumed by reductive amination of 2-oxoglutarate catalyzed by glutamate dehydrogenase. Further examinations were done to elucidate functions of three enzymes potentially involved in pyruvate oxidation: pyruvate formate-lyase (PFL), pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (POR), and 2-oxoisovalerate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase (VOR) under the HYH-deficient background in T. kodakarensis. No significant change was observed by deletion of pflDA, suggesting that PFL had no critical role in pyruvate oxidation. The growth properties and mass balances of ΔporDAB and ΔvorDAB strains indicated that POR and VOR specifically functioned in oxidation of pyruvate and branched-chain amino acids, respectively, and the lack of POR or VOR was compensated for by promoting the oxidation of another substrate driven by the remaining oxidoreductase. The H2 yields from the consumed pyruvate and amino acids were increased from 31% by the parent strain to 67% and 82% by the deletion of hyhBGSL and double deletion of hyhBGSL and vorDAB, respectively. Significant discrepancies in the mass balances were observed in excess formation of acetate and NH3, suggesting the presence of unknown metabolisms in T. kodakarensis grown in the rich medium containing pyruvate.