• Catabolism;
  • Fusobacterium varium;
  • Glucose;
  • L-Glutamate;
  • Tandem mass spectrometry


A proteome survey and MS analysis were conducted to investigate glucose metabolism in Fusobacterium varium, a butyrate-producing constituent of the indigenous human gut microflora. The bacterium was capable of catabolizing glucose as the main energy source via the Embden–Meyerhof–Parnas pathway. 2-DE analyses revealed that the apparent concentrations of the six identified glycolytic enzymes (pyruvate kinase, enolase, glucose-6-phosphate isomerase, phosphoglycerate kinase, triosephosphate isomerase, and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase) were specifically increased in response to the presence of glucose in the chemically defined minimal growth medium, and did not diminish when the medium was additionally supplemented with L-glutamate, an amino acid readily fermented by members of the Fusobacterium genus. A substrate pool depletion study revealed that the sugar, and not the amino acid, is the more efficient growth substrate. Both proteomics and substrate pool depletion studies revealed that F. varium can simultaneously utilize both glucose and L-glutamate as energy sources. Enzymes involved in L-glutamate metabolism were also identified, including an NAD-dependent glutamate dehydrogenase and two enzymes of the methylaspartate pathway of L-glutamate catabolism (glutamate mutase and methylaspartate ammonia-lyase). Their apparent intracellular concentrations were elevated when the bacterium was cultured in media supplemented with excess L-glutamate. Our observation that the apparent concentrations of specific proteins were elevated in response to a particular growth substrate supplied as an energy source provides the first evidence for the presence of a nutrient-responsive mechanism governing intracellular protein concentration in F. varium.