Caister Academic Press

Metabolism and Physiology of Borrelia

Frank Gherardini, Julie Boylan, Kevin Lawrence and Jon Skare
from: Borrelia: Molecular Biology, Host Interaction and Pathogenesis (Edited by: D. Scott Samuels and Justin D. Radolf). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


In this chapter, we attempt to define key biochemical pathways and metabolic systems that are the underpinning of the physiology of Borrelia. Energy extracted from the fermentation of a few simple sugars fuels these biochemical reactions and also energizes a V-type ATPase (V-ATPase). This establishes a membrane potential that drives motility and the transport of most solutes. After transport, metabolites and biochemical intermediates, such as simple sugars, fatty acids, purines and pyrimidines, peptides and metals ions, are chemically utilized and/or modified to provide an intracellular pool of compounds necessary for protein, nucleic acid, membrane and cell wall biosynthesis. The extremely limited de novo biosynthetic capacity of Borrelia restricts members of this genus to a host-dependent lifestyle but conserves energy and reflects a reduction of the genome that is an interesting example of adaptive biology read more ...
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