Pathways for amino acid metabolism by Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens

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Pathways for amino acid metabolism by Prevotella intermedia and Prevotella nigrescens were investigated. Prevotella strains grew anaerobically in tryptone-based medium and their growth increased upon the addition of aspartate to the medium. Washed cells of tryptone-grown strains metabolized aspartate to succinate, acetate, fumarate, malate, formate and ammonia, while from tryptone they produced isobutyrate and isovalerate in addition to the end products from aspartate. Cell extracts obtained from the tryptone-grown cells had aspartate ammonia-lyase for the conversion of aspartate to fumarate. Methylviologen-dependent fumarate reductase was found to reduce fumarate to succinate. A series of enzymatic activities, including fumarase, NAD-dependent malate dehydrogenase, oxaloacetate decarboxylase, methylviologen-dependent pyruvate oxidoreductase, phosphotransacetylase and acetate kinase, was detected for the oxidative conversion of fumarate to acetate. Pyruvate formate-lyase and NAD-dependent formate dehydrogenase were also found for the production and consumption of formate, respectively. Methylviologen: NAD(P) oxidoreductase was found to be responsible for linkage between these reductive and oxidative pathways. Furthermore, the cell extracts had branched-chain amino acid aminotransferase and methylviologen-dependent branched-chain 2-oxoacid oxidoreductase, concomitantly with NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase. Valine and leucine could be converted to isobutyryl CoA and isovaleryl CoA, respectively, through the sequential catalyses of these enzymes, and consequently to isobutyrate and isovalerate, respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-102
Number of pages7
JournalOral Microbiology and Immunology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000 Apr


  • Amino acids
  • Anaerobic metabolism
  • Aspartate
  • Leucine
  • Prevotella
  • Valine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Dentistry(all)
  • Microbiology (medical)


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