The glutamine cyclotransferase reaction of Streptococcus bovis: A novel mechanism of deriving energy from non-oxidative and non-reductive deamination


Correspondence to: J.B. Russell, Wing Hall, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Abstract Streptococcus bovis deaminated glutamine by a mechanism that did not involve glutaminase. Since pyroglutamate and ammonia were the only end-products, it appeared that glutamine deamination was catalyzed by a cyclotransferase reaction. Stationary S. bovis cells had essentially no intracellular ATP or membrane potential (ΔΨ), however, when they were provided with glutamine, intracellular ATP and ΔΨ increased to 0.52 mM and 158 mV, respectively. When glutamine-energized cells were treated with N,N-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD, 150 μM), there was an even greater increase in intracellular ATP (> 5-fold) and the ΔΨ was dissipated. Because toluene-treated cells produced ATP from ADP and Pi, it did not appear that the cell membrane was directly involved in glutamine-dependent ATP generation. The rate of ammonia production was directly proportional to the glutamine concentration, but the stoichiometry of ATP to ammonia was always 1 to 1. Based on these results, it appeared that glutamine was deaminated by glutamine cyclotransferase which was coupled to ATP formation. The membrane bound ATPase then used the ATP to create a ΔΨ.