Citric acid cycle in the hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrobaculum islandicum grown autotrophically, heterotrophically, and mixotrophically with acetate

J Bacteriol. 2006 Jun;188(12):4350-5. doi: 10.1128/JB.00138-06.


The hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrobaculum islandicum uses the citric acid cycle in the oxidative and reductive directions for heterotrophic and autotrophic growth, respectively, but the control of carbon flow is poorly understood. P. islandicum was grown at 95 degrees C autotrophically, heterotrophically, and mixotrophically with acetate, H2, and small amounts of yeast extract and with thiosulfate as the terminal electron acceptor. The autotrophic growth rates and maximum concentrations of cells were significantly lower than those in other media. The growth rates on H2 and 0.001% yeast extract with and without 0.05% acetate were the same, but the maximum concentration of cells was fourfold higher with acetate. There was no growth with acetate if 0.001% yeast extract was not present, and addition of H2 to acetate-containing medium greatly increased the growth rates and maximum concentrations of cells. P. islandicum cultures assimilated 14C-labeled acetate in the presence of H2 and yeast extract with an efficiency of 55%. The activities of 11 of 19 enzymes involved in the central metabolism of P. islandicum were regulated under the three different growth conditions. Pyruvate synthase and acetate:coenzyme A (CoA) ligase (ADP-forming) activities were detected only in heterotrophically grown cultures. Citrate synthase activity decreased in autotrophic and acetate-containing cultures compared to the activity in heterotrophic cultures. Acetylated citrate lyase, acetate:CoA ligase (AMP forming), and phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase activities increased in autotrophic and acetate-containing cultures. Citrate lyase activity was higher than ATP citrate synthase activity in autotrophic cultures. These data suggest that citrate lyase and AMP-forming acetate:CoA ligase, but not ATP citrate synthase, work opposite citrate synthase to control the direction of carbon flow in the citric acid cycle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Citric Acid / metabolism
  • Citric Acid Cycle*
  • Culture Media
  • Deuterium
  • Ligases / metabolism
  • Lyases / metabolism
  • Pyrobaculum / growth & development
  • Pyrobaculum / metabolism*
  • Pyruvate Synthase / metabolism
  • Substrate Specificity


  • Acetates
  • Culture Media
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Citric Acid
  • Deuterium
  • Pyruvate Synthase
  • Lyases
  • Ligases