Corynebacterium glutamicum harbours a molybdenum cofactor-dependent formate dehydrogenase which alleviates growth inhibition in the presence of formate

Sabrina Witthoff, Lothar Eggeling, Michael Bott, Tino Polen
Microbiology 2012, 158 (Pt 9): 2428-39
Here, we show that Corynebacterium glutamicum ATCC 13032 co-metabolizes formate when it is grown with glucose as the carbon and energy source. CO(2) measurements during bioreactor cultivation and use of (13)C-labelled formate demonstrated that formate is almost completely oxidized to CO(2). The deletion of fdhF (cg0618), annotated as formate dehydrogenase (FDH) and located in a cluster of genes conserved in the family Corynebacteriaceae, prevented formate utilization. Similarly, deletion of fdhD (cg0616) resulted in the inability to metabolize formate and deletion of cg0617 markedly reduced formate utilization. These results illustrated that all three gene products are required for FDH activity. Growth studies with molybdate and tungstate indicated that the FDH from C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 is a molybdenum-dependent enzyme. The presence of 100 mM formate caused a 25 % lowered growth rate during cultivation of C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 wild-type in glucose minimal medium. This inhibitory effect was increased in the strains lacking FDH activity. Our data demonstrate that C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 possesses an FDH with a currently unknown electron acceptor. The presence of the FDH might help the soil bacterium C. glutamicum ATCC 13032 to alleviate growth retardation caused by formate, which is ubiquitously present in the environment.

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