Production of butyrate by the holotrich protozoon Dasytricha ruminantium involves the enzymes of glycolysis, pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase, acetyl-CoA:acetyl-CoA C-acetyltransferase, 3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA dehydrogenase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA hydro-lyase, 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA reductase, phosphate butyryltransferase and butyrate kinase. Subcellular fractionation by differential and density-gradient centrifugation on sucrose gradients indicated that all those enzymes except pyruvate:ferredoxin oxidoreductase were non-sedimentable at 6 × 10(6) g-min. Butyrate kinase and phosphate butyryltransferase were associated with the large- and small-granule fractions. Thus, although metabolic reactions necessary for butyrate production proceed predominantly in the cytosol, hydrogenosomes play a key role in the conversion of pyruvate into acetyl-CoA.

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