Journal of bacteriology

L-1,2-propanediol exits more rapidly than L-lactaldehyde from Escherichia coli.

PMID 2644239


Catabolism of the six-carbon compound L-fucose results in formation of dihydroxyacetone phosphate (C-1-to-C-3 fragment) and L-lactaldehyde (C-4-to-C-6 fragment) as intermediates. The fate of lactaldehyde depends on the respiratory growth conditions. Aerobically, lactaldehyde is oxidized to L-lactate by an NAD-linked dehydrogenase (ald product). L-Lactate, in turn, is converted to pyruvate, which enters the general metabolic pool. Anaerobically, lactaldehyde is reduced to L-1,2-propanediol by an NADH-linked oxidoreductase (fucO product). L-1,2-Propanediol is excreted as a terminal fermentation product. In a previous study, we showed that retention of the C-4-to-C-6 fragment of fucose depended on the competition for lactaldehyde by aldehyde dehydrogenase and propanediol oxidoreductase (Y. Zhu and E.C.C. Lin, J. Bacteriol. 169:785-789, 1987). In this study, we compared the wild-type strain and isogenic mutant strains defective in ald, fucO, or both for ability to accumulate radioactivity when incubated with fucose labeled at either the C-1 or the C-6 position. The results showed that although blocking the oxidation of lactaldehyde prevented its assimilation, rapid exit of the 3-carbon unit occurred only when the compound was reduced to propanediol. Moreover, growth experiments on fucose indicated that a double ald fucO mutant accumulated inhibiting concentrations of lactaldehyde. The inner cell membrane therefore appears to be much more permeable to the 3-carbon alcohol than to the 3-carbon aldehyde. The almost instantaneous exit of propanediol appears to be a facilitated process.

Related Materials

Product #



Molecular Formula

Add to Cart

L-Lactaldehyde solution, 1 M in H2O