Carbon catabolite repression in Pseudomonas : optimizing metabolic versatility and interactions with the environment

FEMS Microbiol Rev. 2010 Sep;34(5):658-84. doi: 10.1111/j.1574-6976.2010.00218.x. Epub 2010 Mar 10.


Metabolically versatile free-living bacteria have global regulation systems that allow cells to selectively assimilate a preferred compound among a mixture of several potential carbon sources. This process is known as carbon catabolite repression (CCR). CCR optimizes metabolism, improving the ability of bacteria to compete in their natural habitats. This review summarizes the regulatory mechanisms responsible for CCR in the bacteria of the genus Pseudomonas, which can live in many different habitats. Although the information available is still limited, the molecular mechanisms responsible for CCR in Pseudomonas are clearly different from those of Enterobacteriaceae or Firmicutes. An understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying CCR is important to know how metabolism is regulated and how bacteria degrade compounds in the environment. This is particularly relevant for compounds that are degraded slowly and accumulate, creating environmental problems. CCR has a major impact on the genes involved in the transport and metabolism of nonpreferred carbon sources, but also affects the expression of virulence factors in several bacterial species, genes that are frequently directed to allow the bacterium to gain access to new sources of nutrients. Finally, CCR has implications in the optimization of biotechnological processes such as biotransformations or bioremediation strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Biotransformation
  • Catabolite Repression*
  • Environment
  • Escherichia coli / genetics
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Pseudomonas / genetics
  • Pseudomonas / metabolism*
  • Pseudomonas / pathogenicity
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins