New study finds novel functions of the pyruvate-sensing protein PdhR in E. Coli

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IMAGE: Pyruvate is a key compound to many essential biological pathways that generate energy (TCA cycle, respiratory electron transfer, fatty acid oxidation) in E. coli. The transcription factor PdhR responds to…
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Credit: Microbial Genomics, Tokyo Tech

Organisms, ranging from bacteria to humans, run on an interconnected series of metabolic pathways–with glycolysis being the essential process that generates energy from sugars (glucose) in food. Pyruvate is the final product of glycolysis: it is an important molecule that acts as a node between different pathways (Figure 1). To better understand how these pathways work, a team of scientists, led by Dr Tomohiro Shimada from Meiji University and including Dr Akira Ishihama from Hosei University and Dr Sousuke Imamura from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech), decided to investigate a protein called “PdhR,” the master regulator of pyruvate catabolism (or breakdown) in Escherichia coli (a common model organism). They knew from

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