Rapid accumulation of intracellular 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate in an Entner-Doudoroff aldolase mutant results in bacteriostasis

Lorra K. Fuhrman, Amy Wanken, Kenneth W. Nickerson, Tyrrell Conway

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

30 Scopus citations


The accumulation of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate, the key intermediate of the Entner-Doudoroff pathway, has long been thought to inhibit growth of bacteria, but careful measurements of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate accumulation by growing cells and the correlation of intracellular 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate levels to growth inhibition had not been made. A system designed for this purposed was developed in Escherichia coli strains, allowing 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate accumulation to be experimentally induced and measured by extraction of the cell pool. Addition of gluconate to a strain which lacked 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate aldolase and overproduced 6-phosphogluconate dehydratase resulted in an increase in the intracellular concentration of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate from undetectable levels to 2.0 mM within 15 s, as measured by anion-exchange HPLC. The accumulation of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate was correlated with an immediate and significant decrease in growth; this inhibition was determined to be bacteriostatic and not bactericidal. It had been proposed that the mechanism of 2-keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate toxicity involves competitive inhibition of 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and the consequent block of the pentose phosphate pathway. An experiment addressing this hypothesis failed to provide any supporting data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Microbiology Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 15 1998



  • 2-Keto-3-deoxy-6-phosphogluconate accumulation
  • Bacteriostasis
  • Entner-Doudoroff pathway

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics

Cite this