Escherichia coli accumulates K+ by means of multiple transportsystems, of which TrkA is the most prominent at neutral and alkalinepH while Kup is major at acidic pH. In the present study, K+ uptakewas observed with cells grown under fermentative conditions at an initialpH of 9.0 and 7.3 (the medium pH decreased to 8.4 and 6.8, respectively, during the mid-logarithmic growth phase), washed with distilled water andresuspended in a K+ containing medium at pH 7.5 in the presence ofglucose. The kinetics for this K+ uptake and the amount of K+accumulated by the wild type and mutants having a functional TrkA or Kup could confirm that K+ uptake by E. coli grown either at pH 9.0or pH 7.3 occurs mainly through TrkA. The following results distinguishpH dependent mode of TrkA operating: (1) K+ uptake was inhibited byDCCD in cells grown either at pH 9.0 or pH 7.3, although the stoichiometryof K+ influx to DCCD-inhibited H+ efflux for bacteria grownat pH 9.0 varied with external K+ concentration, but remained constantfor cells grown at pH 7.3; (2) K+ uptake was observed with an atpDmutant grown at pH 9.0 but not at pH 7.3; (3) The DCCD-inhibited H+efflux was increased 8-fold less by 5 mM K+ added into a K+ freemedium for bacteria grown at pH 9.0 than that for cells grown at pH 7.3;(4) the DCCD-inhibited ATPase activity of membrane vesicles from bacteriagrown at pH 9.0 was reduced a little in the presence of 100 mM K+, but stimulated more than 2.4-fold at pH 7.3.

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