Pathway for isoleucine formation form pyruvate by leucine biosynthetic enzymes in leucine-accumulating isoleucine revertants of Serratia marcescens

J Biochem. 1977 Jul;82(1):95-103. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.jbchem.a131698.


Leaky revertants isolated from isoleucine auxotrophs of Serratia marcescens mutant resistant to alpha-aminobutyric acid were previously reported to accumulate leucine in the medium, due to the absence of both feedback inhibition and repression of leucine biosynthesis. Growth of the revertant was accelerated by pyruvate, D(-)-citramalate, citraconate, and alpha-ketobutyrate, but not by threonine. Extracts of the revertant exhibited high activities of pyruvate-dependent coenzyme A liberation from acetyl-coenzyme A, hydration of citraconate, and conversion of citraconate to alpha-ketobutyrate, but showed no threonine-deaminating activity. In the leucine-accumulating revertants the above three activities were not affected by leucine, but in the wild strain and other revertants accumulating no leucine all or one of these activities was controlled by leucine. A leucine auxotroph isolated from the leucine-accumulating revertant showed isoleucine auxotrophy as well. From these data, it is concluded that, in leucine-accumulating revertants, of S. marcescent, isoleucine, is synthesized from alpha-ketobutyrate via citramalate formed from pyruvate annd acetyl-coenzyme A by leucine biosynthetic enzymes, as a result of desensitization of alpha-isopropylmalate synthetase to feedback inhibition.

MeSH terms

  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Butyrates / metabolism
  • Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Isoleucine / biosynthesis*
  • Leucine / metabolism
  • Malates / metabolism
  • Maleates / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Pyruvates / metabolism*
  • Serratia marcescens / growth & development
  • Serratia marcescens / metabolism*
  • Threonine / metabolism
  • Valine / metabolism


  • Butyrates
  • Malates
  • Maleates
  • Pyruvates
  • Isoleucine
  • Threonine
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • citramalate
  • Leucine
  • Valine
  • Coenzyme A