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Methionine inhibits developmental aggregation of Myxococcus xanthus by blocking the biosynthesis of S-adenosyl methionine.

By W Shi and D R Zusman


Previous studies showed that high concentrations of methionine (> 1 mM) inhibited aggregation and fruiting body formation in Myxococcus xanthus (E. Rosenberg, D. Filer, D. Zafriti, and S. H. Kindler, J. Bacteriol. 115: 29-34, 1973, and J. M. Campos and D. R. Zusman, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 72:518-522, 1975). However, the mechanism for the inhibition was unclear. In this study, we found that high levels of methionine inhibited the biosynthesis of S-adenosylmethionine (SAM) and that reduced intracellular levels of SAM are correlated with defective chemotactic movements and reduced developmental gene expression. In addition, we found that methionine analogs and high concentrations of amino acids which are known to affect SAM synthesis in other bacteria, such as threonine, lysine, and isoleucine, also caused reduced cellular levels of SAM and blocked fruiting body formation in M. xanthus. These results indicate that SAM is required for development of M. xanthus and the inhibitory effect of methionine on development results, at least in part, from its blocking of the biosynthesis of SAM

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1995
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.177.18.5346-5349.1995
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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