The pathway of formation of acetate and succinate from pyruvate by Bacteroides succinogenes

Arch Microbiol. 1978 May 30;117(2):145-52. doi: 10.1007/BF00402302.


Bacteroides succinogenes produces acetate and succinate as major products of carbohydrate fermentation. An investigation of the enzymes involved indicated that pyruvate is oxidized by a flavin-dependent pyruvate cleavage enzyme to acetyl-CoA and CO2. Active CO2 exchange is associated with the pyruvate oxidation system. Reduction of flavin nucleotides is CoASH-dependent and does not require ferredoxin. Acetyl-CoA is further metabolized via acetyl phosphate to acetate and ATP. Reduced flavin nucleotide is used to reduce fumarate to succinate by a particulate flavin-specific fumarate reductase reaction which may involve cytochrome b. Phosphoenolpyruvate (PEP) is carboxylated to oxalacetate by a GDP- specific PEP carboxykinase. Oxalacetate, in turn, is converted to malate by a pyridine nucleotide-dependent malate dehydrogenase. The organism has a NAD-dependent glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase. The data suggest that reduced pyridine nucleotides generated during glycolysis are oxidized in malate formation and that the electrons generated during pyruvate oxidation are used to reduce fumarate to succinate.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A / metabolism
  • Bacteroides / metabolism*
  • Fermentation
  • Fumarates / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Malates / metabolism
  • Oxaloacetates / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Pyruvates / metabolism*
  • Succinates / biosynthesis*


  • Acetates
  • Fumarates
  • Malates
  • Oxaloacetates
  • Pyruvates
  • Succinates
  • Acetyl Coenzyme A
  • Glucose