Measurements were made of the stoicheiometry of respiration-driven proton translocation coupled to the oxidation of NAD(P)-linked or flavin-linked substrates in intact cells of Escherichia coli. Observed stoicheiometries (→H+/O quotient; Mitchell, 1966) were approx. 4 with l-malate as substrate and approx. 2 for succinate, d-lactate and glycerol oxidation. It is concluded that the potential number of equivalent energy-conservation sites associated with the respiratory chain is 2 in aerobically grown cells of E. coli harvested during the exponential phase of growth.

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