Functioning of a metabolic flux sensor in Escherichia coli

Kochanowski, Karl and Volkmer, Benjamin and Gerosa, Luca and Haverkorn van Rijsewijk, Bart R. and Schmidt, Alexander and Heinemann, Matthias. (2013) Functioning of a metabolic flux sensor in Escherichia coli. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, Vol. 110, H. 3. pp. 1130-1135.

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Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/dok/A6094007

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Regulation of metabolic operation in response to extracellular cues is crucial for cells' survival. Next to the canonical nutrient sensors, which measure the concentration of nutrients, recently intracellular "metabolic flux" was proposed as a novel impetus for metabolic regulation. According to this concept, cells would have molecular systems ("flux sensors") in place that regulate metabolism as a function of the actually occurring metabolic fluxes. Although this resembles an appealing concept, we have not had any experimental evidence for the existence of flux sensors and also we have not known how these flux sensors would work in detail. Here, we show experimental evidence that supports the hypothesis that Escherichia coli is indeed able to measure its glycolytic flux and uses this signal for metabolic regulation. Combining experiment and theory, we show how this flux-sensing function could emerge from an aggregate of several molecular mechanisms: First, the system of reactions of lower glycolysis and the feedforward activation of fructose-1,6-bisphosphate on pyruvate kinase translate flux information into the concentration of the metabolite fructose-1,6-bisphosphate. The interaction of this "flux-signaling metabolite" with the transcription factor Cra then leads to flux-dependent regulation. By responding to glycolytic flux, rather than to the concentration of individual carbon sources, the cell may minimize sensing and regulatory expenses.
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Biozentrum > Services Biozentrum > Proteomics (Schmidt)
UniBasel Contributors:Schmidt, Alexander
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:26 Apr 2013 07:02
Deposited On:26 Apr 2013 06:54

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