The D-ribulokinase and D-xylulokinase of Klebsiella aerogenes were purified to homogeneity from Escherichia coli K12 construct strains that synthesized these enzymes constitutively. The D-ribulokinase, which is encoded in the ribitol operon, is active as a dimer of 60 000 subunit mol.wt., whereas the D-xylulokinase, which is encoded in the D-arabitol operon, is active as a dimer of 54 000 subunit mol.wt. The amino acid compositions and N-terminal sequences of both pentulokinases are reported. The Kapp. values of the enzymes for their D-pentulose substrates were determined, and the D-ribulokinase was shown to have a low-affinity side-specificity for ribitol and D-arabitol. These results are discussed in the context of the evolution of the Klebsiella aerogenes pentitol operons.
We have determined the nucleotide sequence of a secondary phage lambda attachment site (att) located between the structural genes of the ribitol and D-arabitol catabolic operons of Klebsiella aerogenes. The core region of this secondary attachment site (sequence: GGTTTTTTCGATTAT) shows considerable homology with the 15-base-pair core region common to both the phage att and the primary bacterial att of Escherichia coli K12 (sequence: GCTTTTTTACTAA); however, there is no such clear homology between the sequences flanking the cores of the primary att and this secondary att. Integration of phage lambda into the K. aerogenes secondary att occurred by recombination between the core region of the phage att and an oligo(T.A) stretch located within the K. aerogenes secondary att.
An Escherichia coli K12 strain was constructed that synthesized elevated quantities of Klebsiella aerogenes D-arabitol dehydrogenase; the enzyme accounted for about 5% of the soluble protein in this strain. Some 280 mg of enzyme was purified from 180 g of cell paste. The purified enzyme was active as a monomer of 46,000 mol.wt. The amino acid composition and kinetic constants of the enzyme for D-arabitol and D-mannitol are reported. The apparent Km for D-mannitol was more than 3-fold that for D-arabitol, whereas the maximum velocities with both substrates were indistinguishable. The enzyme purified from the E. coli K12 construct was indistinguishable by the criteria of molecular weight, electrophoretic mobility in native polyacrylamide gel and D-mannitol/D-arabitol activity ratio from D-arabitol dehydrogenase synthesized in wild-type K. aerogenes. Purified D-arabitol dehydrogenase showed no immunological cross-reaction with K. aerogenes ribitol dehydrogenase. During electrophoresis in native polyacrylamide gels, oxidation by persulphate catalysed the formation of inactive polymeric forms of the enzyme. Dithiothreitol and pre-electrophoresis protected against this polymerization.