Induction of NADPH-linked D-xylose reductase and NAD-linked xylitol dehydrogenase activities in Pachysolen tannophilus by D-xylose, L-arabinose, or D-galactose

Bolen, P.L.; Detroy, R.W.

Biotechnology and Bioengineering 27(3): 302-307


ISSN/ISBN: 0006-3592
PMID: 18553673
DOI: 10.1002/bit.260270314
Accession: 053820590

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Considerable interest in the D-xylose catabolic pathway of Pachysolen tannophilus has arisen from the discovery that this yeast is capable of fermenting D-xylose to ethanol. In this organism D-xylose appears to be catabolized through xylitol to D-xylulose. NADPH-linked D-xylose reductase is primarily responsible for the conversion of D-xylose to xylitol, while NAD-linked xylitol dehydrogenase is primarily responsible for the subsequent conversion of xylitol to D-xylulose. Both enzyme activities are readily detectable in cell-free extracts of P. tannophilus grown in medium containing D-xylose, L-arabinose, or D-galactose and appear to be inducible since extracts prepared from cells growth in media containing other carbon sources have only negligible activities, if any. Like D-xylose, L-arabinose and D-galactose were found to serve as substrates for NADPH-linked reactions in extracts of cells grown in medium containing D-xylose, L-arabinose, or D-galactose. These L-arabinose and D-galactose NADPH-linked activities also appear to be inducible, since only minor activity with L-arabinose and no activity with D-galactose is detected in extracts of cells grown in D-glucose medium. The NADPH-linked activities obtained with these three sugars may result from the actions of distinctly different enzymes or from a single aldose reductase acting on different substrates. High-performance liquid chromatography and gas-liquid chromatography of in vitro D-xylose, L-arabinose, and D-galactose NADPH-linked reactions confirmed xylitol, L-arabitol, and galactitol as the respective conversion products of these sugars. Unlike xylitol, however, neither L-arabitol nor galactitol would support comparable NAD-linked reaction(s) in cellfree extracts of induced P. tannophilus. Thus, the metabolic pathway of D-xylose diverges from those of L-arabinose or D-galactose following formation of the pentitol.