Escherichia coli is able to ferment glycerol and produce H2 by different Hyds (hydrogenases). Wild-type whole cells were shown to extrude H+ through the F1Fo-ATPase and by other means with a lower rate compared with that under glucose fermentation. At pH 7.5, H+ efflux was stimulated in fhlA mutant (with defective transcriptional activator of Hyd-3 or Hyd-4) and was lowered in hyaB or hybC mutants (with defective Hyd-1 or Hyd-2) and hyaB hybC double mutant; DCCD (dicyclohexylcarbodi-imide)-sensitive H+ efflux was observed. At pH 5.5, H+ efflux in wild-type was lower compared with that at pH 7.5; it was increased in fhlA mutant and absent in hyaB hybC mutant. Membrane vesicle ATPase activity was lower in wild-type glycerol-fermented cells at pH 7.5 compared with that in glucose-fermented cells; 100 mM K+ did not stimulate ATPase activity. The latter at pH 7.5, compared with that in wild–type, was lower in hyaB and less in hybC mutants, stimulated in the hyaB hybC mutant and suppressed in the fhlA mutant; DCCD inhibited ATPase activity. At pH 5.5, the ATPase activities of hyaB and hybC mutants had similar values and were higher compared with that in wild-type; ATPase activity was suppressed in hyaB hybC and fhlA mutants. The results indicate that during glycerol fermentation, H+ was expelled also via F1Fo. At pH 7.5 Hyd-1 and Hyd-2 but not FhlA or Hyd-4 might be related to F1Fo or have their own H+-translocating ability. At pH 5.5, both Hyd-1 and Hyd-2 more than F1Fo might be involved in H+ efflux.

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