Microbial metabolism of amino alcohols. Metabolism of ethanolamine and 1-aminopropan-2-ol in species of Erwinia and the roles of amino alcohol kinase and amino alcohol o-phosphate phospho-lyase in aldehyde formation

Biochem J. 1973 Aug;134(4):959-68. doi: 10.1042/bj1340959.


1. Growth of Erwinia carotovora N.C.P.P.B. 1280 on media containing 1-aminopropan-2-ol compounds or ethanolamine as the sole N source resulted in the excretion of propionaldehyde or acetaldehyde respectively. The inclusion of (NH(4))(2)SO(4) in media prevented aldehyde formation. 2. Growth, microrespirometric and enzymic evidence implicated amino alcohol O-phosphates as aldehyde precursors. An inducibly formed ATP-amino alcohol phosphotransferase was partially purified and found to be markedly stimulated by ADP, unaffected by NH(4) (+) ions and more active with ethanolamine than with 1-aminopropan-2-ol compounds. Amino alcohol O-phosphates were deaminated by an inducible phospho-lyase to give the corresponding aldehydes. This enzyme, separated from the kinase during purification, was more active with ethanolamine O-phosphate than with 1-aminopropan-2-ol O-phosphates. Activity of the phospho-lyase was unaffected by a number of possible effectors, including NH(4) (+) ions, but its formation was repressed by the addition of (NH(4))(2)SO(4) to growth media. 3. E. carotovora was unable to grow with ethanolamine or 1-aminopropan-2-ol compounds as sources of C, the production of aldehydes during utilization as N sources being attributable to the inability of the microbe to synthesize aldehyde dehydrogenase. 4. Of seven additional strains of Erwinia examined similar results were obtained only with Erwinia ananas (N.C.P.P.B. 441) and Erwinia milletiae (N.C.P.P.B. 955).

MeSH terms

  • Acetaldehyde / biosynthesis
  • Aldehydes / biosynthesis*
  • Amino Alcohols
  • Ammonia-Lyases / metabolism*
  • Ammonium Sulfate
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Erwinia / metabolism*
  • Ethanolamines / metabolism*
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Phosphotransferases / metabolism*
  • Propanolamines / metabolism*


  • Aldehydes
  • Amino Alcohols
  • Carbon Radioisotopes
  • Ethanolamines
  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • Propanolamines
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Ammonia-Lyases
  • Acetaldehyde
  • Ammonium Sulfate