A Salmonella typhimurium cobalamin-deficient mutant blocked in 1-amino-2- propanol synthesis

C. Grabau, J. R. Roth

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15 Scopus citations


Salmonella typhimurium synthesizes cobalamin (vitamin B12) when grown under anaerobic conditions. All but one of the biosynthetic genes (cob) are located in a single operon which includes genes required for the production of cobinamide and dimethylbenzimidazole, as well as the genes needed to form cobalamin from these precursors. We isolated strains carrying mutations (cobD) which are unlinked to any of the previously described B12 biosynthetic genes. Mutations in cobD are recessive and map at minute 14 of the linkage map, far from the major cluster of B12 genes at minute 41. The cobD mutants appear to be defective in the synthesis of 1-amino-2-propanol, because they can synthesize B12 when this compound is provided exogenously. Labeling studies in other organisms have shown that aminopropanol, derived from threonine, is the precursor of the chain linking dimethylbenzimidazole to the corrinoid ring of B12. Previously, a three-step pathway has been proposed for the synthesis of aminopropanol from threonine, including two enzymatic steps and a spontaneous nonenzymatic decarboxylation. We assayed the two enzymatic steps of the hypothetical pathway; cobD mutants are not defective in either. Furthermore, mutants blocked in one step of the proposed pathway continue to make B12. We conclude that the aminopropanol for B12 synthesis is not made by this pathway. Expression of a lac operon fused to the cobD promoter is unaffected by vitamin B12 or oxygen, both of which are known to repress the main cob operon, suggesting that the cobD gene is not regulated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2138-2144
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Immunology


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