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Biosynthesis of ethylene from methionine. Isolation of the putative intermediate 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate from culture fluids of bacteria and fungi.

ABSTRACT: Methods are described for identifying the 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazones of 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate by means of t.l.c., n.m.r. and mass spectroscopy. By using these methods 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate, a putative intermediate in the biosynthesis of ethylene from methionine, has been identified in culture fluids of Aeromonas hydrophila B12E and a coryneform bacterium D7F grown in the presence of methionine. Relative to 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate, the yield of 3-(methylthio)propanal (methional) from the same cultures was less than 1%. Because 4-[2H]methylthio-2-oxobutanoate was obtained from cultures grown on [Me-2H]methionine, the 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate must be derived from methionine. By means of t.l.c. alone, 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate was identified in the culture fluids of a range of bacteria, the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae and the fungus Penicillium digitatum. A photochemical assay developed for 4-methylthio-2-oxobutanoate shows it to be a product of the metabolism of methionine by Escherichia, Pseudomonas, Bacillus, Acinetobacter, Aeromonas, Rhizobium and Corynebacterium species.

SUBMITTER: Billington DC 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC1161418 | BioStudies | 1979-01-01

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): 10.1042/bj1820827

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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