Responses of intracellular cofactors to single and dual substrate limitations

Wookeun Bae, Bruce E. Rittmann

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39 Scopus citations


The highly systematic responses of cellular cofactors to controlled substrate limitations of electron donor, electron acceptor, and both (dual limitation) were quantified using continuous-flow cultures of Pseudomonas putida. The results showed that the NADH concentration in the cells decreased gradually as the specific rate of electron-donor utilization (-q(d)) fell or increased systematically as oxygen limitation became more severe for fixed - q(d), while the NAD concentration was invariant. The NAD(H) responses demonstrated a common strategy: compensation for a low concentration of an externally supplied substrate by increasing (or decreasing) the concentration of its internal cosubstrate (or coproduct). The compensation was dramatic, as the NAD/NADH ratio showed a 24-fold modulation in response to depletion of dissolved oxygen (DO) or acetate. In the dual-limitation region, the compensating effects toward depletion of one substrate were damped, because the other substrate was simultaneously at low concentration. However, the NAD(H) responses minimized the adverse impact from substrate depletion on overall cell metabolism. Cellular contents of ATP, ADP, and P, were mostly affected by -q(d), such that the phosphorylation potential, ATP/ADP · P(i), increased as -q(d) fell due to depletion of acetate, DO, or both. Since the respiration rate should be slowed by high ATP/ADP P(i), the cellular response seems to amplify an unfavorable environmental condition when oxygen is depleted. The likely reason for this apparent disadvantageous response is that the response of phosphorylation potential is more keenly associated with other aspects of metabolic control, such as for synthesis, which requires P(i) for production of phospholipids and nucleotides.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)690-699
Number of pages10
JournalBiotechnology and bioengineering
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 20 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Pseudomonas putida
  • cofactor responses
  • dual limitation
  • metabolic control
  • nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide
  • phosphorylation potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Bioengineering
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology


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