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Lactate oxidation by treponema pallidum

, : Lactate oxidation by treponema pallidum. Current Microbiology 13(3): 123-128

Whole cells of Treponema pallidum consumed O2 with lactate in a glucose-depleted medium. D(-) Lactate caused marked stimulation of O2 uptake at a rate similar to that with glucose, whereas L(+) lactate resulted in no increase over the reduced rate observed upon glucose depletion. Lactate oxidation was specific for .alpha.-hydroxy straight-chain acids of 3, 4, and 5 carbons. O2 uptake during lactate oxidation proceeded independently of pyruvate oxidation and required NAD. The product of lactate oxidation was pyruvate. D(-) Lactate-stimulated O2 uptake was sensitive to chlorpromazine and resistant to amytal and cyanide. Glucose did ont inhibit the oxidation of lactate as shown by the additive effect of both substrates on O2 uptake. Oxidation of glucose, but not lactate, provided energy necessary for motility or maintenance of virulence. A mixture of lactate isomers was formed from glucose with the L(+) isomer concentration remaining constant and the D(-) isomer concentration varying inversely with dissolved O2 concentration. The function of lactate as an oxidizable substrate is apparently quite distinct from that of glucose.


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