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Review
. 2017 May 9;199(11):e00039-17.
doi: 10.1128/JB.00039-17. Print 2017 Jun 1.

Metabolism Shapes the Cell

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Free PMC article
Review

Metabolism Shapes the Cell

Anthony M Sperber et al. J Bacteriol. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

More than 5 decades of work support the idea that cell envelope synthesis, including the inward growth of cell division, is tightly coordinated with DNA replication and protein synthesis through central metabolism. Remarkably, no unifying model exists to account for how these fundamentally disparate processes are functionally coupled. Recent studies demonstrate that proteins involved in carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism can moonlight as direct regulators of cell division, coordinate cell division and DNA replication, and even suppress defects in DNA replication. In this minireview, we focus on studies illustrating the intimate link between metabolism and regulation of peptidoglycan (PG) synthesis during growth and division, and we identify the following three recurring themes. (i) Nutrient availability, not growth rate, is the primary determinant of cell size. (ii) The degree of gluconeogenic flux is likely to have a profound impact on the metabolites available for cell envelope synthesis, so growth medium selection is a critical consideration when designing and interpreting experiments related to morphogenesis. (iii) Perturbations in pathways relying on commonly shared and limiting metabolites, like undecaprenyl phosphate (Und-P), can lead to pleotropic phenotypes in unrelated pathways.

Keywords: FtsZ; MreB; UDP-glucose; cell division; gluconeogenesis; metabolism; morphogenesis; peptidoglycan; phosphoenolpyruvate; undecaprenyl phosphate.

Figures

FIG 1
FIG 1
Metabolic pathways implicated in the regulation of cell shape and size. Enzymes are indicated by green, red, or blue text. Enzymes discussed in the text are indicated in red or blue. Enzymes shown in blue denote steps dedicating Und-P (also in blue) to one or more pathways. Enzymes predicted to coincide with or precede Und-P dedication to one or more pathways are followed by blue question marks. In most cases, the relevant enzyme(s) for both E. coli and B. subtilis is given; however, not all organisms possess every enzyme shown. Enzymes that are less studied or have not been tested experimentally are generally excluded. Enzymes shown to interact directly with FtsZ are denoted with an asterisk. Only regulators of glycolysis and gluconeogenesis discussed in the text are shown in the left-hand block.
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