Genetic organization and expression of citrate permease in lactic acid bacteria

Djamel Drider, Sadjia Bekal, Hervé Prévost
Published: June 09, 2004
Genet. Mol. Res. 3 (2) : 273-281
Cite this Article:
D. Drider, S. Bekal, H. Prévost (2004). Genetic organization and expression of citrate permease in lactic acid bacteria. Genet. Mol. Res. 3(2): 273-281.
About the Authors
Djamel Drider, Sadjia Bekal, Hervé Prévost
Corresponding author
H. Prévost

Citrate is present in many natural substrates, such as milk, vegetables and fruits, and its metabolism by lactic acid bacteria (LAB) plays an important role in food fermentation. The industrial importance of LAB stems mainly from their ability to convert carbohydrates into lactic acid and, in some species, like Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides, to produce C4 flavor compounds (diacetyl, acetoin) through citrate metabolism. Three types of genetic organization and gene locations, involving citrate metabolism, have been found in LAB. Citrate uptake is mediated by a citrate permease, which leads to a membrane potential upon electrogenic exchange of divalent citrate and monovalent lactate. The internal citrate is cleaved into acetate and oxaloacetate by a citrate lyase, and oxaloacetate is decarboxylated into pyruvate by an oxaloacetate decarboxylase, yielding a pH gradient through the consumption of scalar protons.

Key words: Lactic acid bacteria, Citrate permease, Citrate lyase, Citrate lyase ligase, Proton motive force, Open reading frame.

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