Transport of glucose by Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis occurs via facilitated diffusion

E. P. Briczinski, A. T. Phillips, R. F. Roberts

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Two strains of Bifidobacterium animalis subsp. lactis were indistinguishable by several nucleic acid-based techniques; however, the type strain DSMZ 10140 was glucose utilization positive, while RB 4825, an industrially employed strain, was unable to grow rapidly on glucose as the principal carbon source. This difference was attributed to the presence of a low-affinity facilitated-diffusion glucose transporter identified in DSMZ 10140 but lacking in RB 4825. Uptake of D-[U-14C]glucose in DSMZ 10140 was stimulated by monovalent cations (ammonium, sodium, potassium, and lithium) and inhibited by divalent cations (calcium and magnesium). When competitor carbohydrates were included in the uptake assays, stereospecific inhibition was exhibited, with greater competition by methyl-β-glucoside than methyl-α-glucoside. Significant inhibition (>30%) was observed with phloretin, an inhibitor of facilitated diffusion of glucose, whereas there was no inhibition by sodium fluoride, iodoacetate, sodium arsenate, sodium azide, 2,4-dinitrophenol, monensin, or valinomycin, which typically reduce energy-driven transport. Based on kinetic analyses, the mean values for K t and Vmax were 14.8 ± 3.4 mM D-glucose and 0.13 ± 0.03 μmol glucose/min/mg cell protein, respectively. Glucose uptake by several glucose-utilizing commercial strains of B. animalis subsp. lactis was also inhibited by phloretin, indicating the presence of facilitated diffusion glucose transporters in those strains. Since DSMZ 10140 has been previously reported to lack a functional glucose phosphoenolpyruvate phosphotransferase system, the glucose transporter identified here is responsible for much of the organism's glucose uptake.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6941-6948
Number of pages8
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Ecology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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