Regulation of compatible solute accumulation in Salmonella typhimurium: evidence for a glycine betaine efflux system

J Gen Microbiol. 1991 Nov;137(11):2617-25. doi: 10.1099/00221287-137-11-2617.


The regulation of glycine betaine accumulation has been investigated in Salmonella typhimurium. The size of the glycine betaine pool in the cells is determined by the external osmotic pressure and is largely independent of the external glycine betaine concentration. Analysis of the activity of the ProP and ProU transport systems suggests that other systems must be active in the regulation of the glycine betaine pool. Addition of p-chloromercuribenzoate (PCMB) or p-chloromercuribenzene sulphonate (PCMBS) to cells that have accumulated glycine betaine provokes rapid loss of glycine betaine. The route of glycine betaine efflux under the influence of PCMB is independent of either the ProP or ProU transport systems. Rapid loss of the accumulated pool of glycine betaine in the presence of PCMB is specific to glycine betaine and proline; accumulated pools of serine and lysine are not significantly affected by the -SH reagent. A specific glycine betaine/proline efflux system is postulated on the basis of these data and its role in the regulation of glycine betaine and proline accumulation is discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Betaine / metabolism*
  • Biological Transport
  • Feedback
  • Glutathione / metabolism
  • Kinetics
  • Salmonella typhimurium / metabolism*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance


  • Betaine
  • Glutathione