Impact of Inhibition of the TCA cycle on ATP and NADH levels in Escherichia coli during Bacterial Replication


Bacteriophage are bacteria-eating viruses that utilize the host cell’s metabolic pathways for components for phage replication. The tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, an important metabolic pathway within cellular respiration, uses oxygen to break down organic molecules to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) for energy. In E. coli, the fumarase A gene codes for the enzyme fumarase, which catalyzes fumarate to (S)-malate and NAD+ in the TCA Cycle, used to create NADH, pyruvate, high-energy electron carriers, and ATP. The icd gene encodes the enzyme isocitrate dehydrogenase which is also used in the TCA cycle to make ATP. In our previous research, we discovered that the removal of the fumA and icd genes resulted in a delay in T4 and/or T4r bacteriophage replication. Currently, we are aiming to quantify ATP and NADH levels before and after cell lysis to further understand the impacts of each knockout on cellular metabolism and the resulting impact on T4 replication. This research is made to further understand ways to treat bacterial diseases in the face of antibiotic resistance, specifically phage therapy.