Role of Phosphate in Pyruvic Acid Dehydrogenation


DURING earlier work1 on the problem of pyruvic acid dehydrogenation with Bacterium acidificans longissimum (Delbrückii), it was found that in the absence of inorganic phosphate no reaction took place, and at low concentrations of phosphate the rate of dehydrogenation was proportional to concentration. This indicated that inorganic phosphate must in one way or another participate in the reaction. Such a view was further strengthened when it was found that pyruvic acid dehydrogenation was able to promote adenylic acid phosphorylation2. The supplying of active phosphate by a dehydrogenation reaction had only been observed with the phosphoglyceric aldehyde dehydrogenation3,4. Recently Negelein and Brömel5 were able to isolate as the primary product of this dehydrogenation a labile di-phosphoglyceric acid which they assumed to be either a 1-3-phospho. or a pyrophospho-compound, probably the former. The remarkable finding of Negelein and Brömel induced me to see whether during dehydrogenation of pyruvic acid to acetic acid an intermediary phosphate compound occurred.

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LIPMANN, F. Role of Phosphate in Pyruvic Acid Dehydrogenation. Nature 144, 381–382 (1939).

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