Lysine excretion by Corynebacterium glutamicum

1. Identification of a specific secretion carrier system


Correspondence to R. Krämer, Institut für Biotechnologie I, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Postfach 1913, W-5170 Jülich, Federal Republic of Germany


Corynebacterium glutamicum effectively excretes lysine when the internal lysine concentration is elevated. Lysine efflux was investigated using selected mutants which are not able to regulate lysine biosynthesis by feedback inhibition. Secretion of lysine is not the consequence of unspecific permeability of the plasma membrane but is mediated by a secretion carrier which is specific for lysine. Lysine export is characterized by high activation energy and follows Michaelis-Menten type kinetics with an internal Km of 20 mM and a Vmax of 12 nmol · min−1· mg dry cells−1. Excretion can proceed against a preexisting chemical gradient and against the electrical potential, which rules out a previously suggested pore model. Lysine excretion can also be observed in the wild-type strain especially under conditions of peptide uptake. Its possible physiological function may be related to regulation of internal amino acid concentrations under special growth conditions.


tetraphenylphosphonium bromide


Aspartate kinase (EC