Trehalose transport and metabolism in Escherichia coli.J Bacteriol. 1990 Jun; 172(6):3450-61.JB
Trehalose metabolism in Escherichia coli is complicated by the fact that cells grown at high osmolarity synthesize internal trehalose as an osmoprotectant, independent of the carbon source, although trehalose can serve as a carbon source at both high and low osmolarity. The elucidation of the pathway of trehalose metabolism was facilitated by the isolation of mutants defective in the genes encoding transport proteins and degradative enzymes. The analysis of the phenotypes of these mutants and of the reactions catalyzed by the enzymes in vitro allowed the formulation of the degradative pathway at low osmolarity. Thus, trehalose utilization begins with phosphotransferase (IITre/IIIGlc)-mediated uptake delivering trehalose-6-phosphate to the cytoplasm. It continues with hydrolysis to trehalose and proceeds by splitting trehalose, releasing one glucose residue with the simultaneous transfer of the other to a polysaccharide acceptor. The enzyme catalyzing this reaction was named amylotrehalase. Amylotrehalase and EIITre were induced by trehalose in the medium but not at high osmolarity. treC and treB encoding these two enzymes mapped at 96.5 min on the E. coli linkage map but were not located in the same operon. Use of a mutation in trehalose-6-phosphate phosphatase allowed demonstration of the phosphoenolpyruvate- and IITre-dependent in vitro phosphorylation of trehalose. The phenotype of this mutant indicated that trehalose-6-phosphate is the effective in vivo inducer of the system.