The Effects of Potassium Fluoride and Potassium Laurate on pH Gradients in Streptococcus downeii

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Hayes, M. L. ; Roden, R. (2011)
  • Publisher: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease
  • Journal: Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (issn: 1651-2235, eissn: 1651-2235)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.3402/mehd.v3i3.7526

The ability of Streptococcus downeii MFe28 to maintain a transmembrane pH gradient at low extracellular pH values (pHE) was tested. Carbohydrate-depleted cells were suspended in peptone-glucose-KCI medium buffered with potassium phosphate-citrate to pH values between 4.0 and 7.0. pHE was measured with a pH meter after 30 min equilibration at 20°C and intracellular pH(pH1) calculated from the distribution of 14C-benzoate using 3H-inulin as an extracellular marker. Internal volume was determined as the difference in volume occupied by 14C-carboxyinulin and 3H-water. Cells maintained a positive ΔpH(H1-pHE) over the pH range 4.0-7.0 with a maximum value when pHE=5.0. Depletion of energy by the omission of glucose collapsed the gradients (ΔpH = 0), as did the addition of an uncoupling agent (carbonyl cyanide-m-chlorophenyl hydrazone) or a weak acid (potassium laurate). In contrast, potassium fluoride produced a negative ΔpH when  pHE=5.5-6.0. It is suggested that fluoride preferentially inhibits the F0 component of the proton-translocating membrane ATPase which leads to internal acidification and the subsequent inhibition of glycolysis.Keywords: Streptococcus downeii; pH gradients; Fluoride; Lauric acid; F0F1-ATPase.
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