Protocols in Current Issue
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0 Q&A 8101 Views May 5, 2017
Succinate and lactate are commodity chemicals used for producing bioplastics. Recently, it was found that such organic acids are excreted from cells of the unicellular cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 under dark, anaerobic conditions. To conduct the dark, anaerobic incubation, cells were concentrated within a vial that was then sealed with a butyl rubber cap, following which N2 gas was introduced into the vial. The organic acids produced were quantified by high-performance liquid chromatography via post-labeling with bromothymol blue as a pH indicator. After separation by ion-exclusion chromatography, the organic acids were identified by comparing their retention time with that of standard solutions. These procedures allow researchers to quantify the organic acids produced by microorganisms, contributing to knowledge about the biology and biotechnology of cyanobacteria.
0 Q&A 16149 Views Dec 5, 2013
Cells use glucose to generate energy by two different metabolic processes: lactic fermentation and aerobic respiration. In the first common series of reactions, glucose is converted into pyruvate. In anaerobic conditions, pyruvate is transformed into lactate, this process yields to 2 ATP molecules per glucose molecule. In the presence of oxygen, pyruvate is imported into mitochondria where it is used in the Krebs (or TCA) cycle and oxydative phosphorylation. The global process of oxydative phosphorylation yields to 32 ATP per glucose molecule. For reasons not fully understood, in some pathological cases like cancer, cells use anaerobic glycolysis even in the presence of oxygen, in which case the process is called aerobic glycolysis (or Warburg effect). This results in an increased uptake of glucose and lactate production. Measure of intracellular ATP content and lactate concentrations can provide a readout of aerobic glycolyis.
0 Q&A 8424 Views Jul 5, 2013
This method allows to evaluate the degradation of lactate during cellular respiration. During this metabolic process, carbon atoms of lactate can be transformed in carbon dioxide. For this purpose, the radioactive lactate is added to the cells and the amount of radioactive carbon dioxide liberated is monitored. The radioactive carbon dioxide generated during cellular respiration is released into the culture medium and it is further converted into gas through the addition of sulfuric acid to culture media. A piece of Whatman paper wet with phenyl-ethylamine-methanol is placed inside the petri dish to trap radioactive carbon dioxide whose production is then evaluated by scintillator counting.
0 Q&A 6964 Views Jul 5, 2013
This method allows to analyze if the carbon atoms of lactate are embedded into proteins. Indeed, mammalian cells express the transporter of monocarboxylic acids (called MCT1) that allows the entry of lactate into the cell. To this end, cells are incubated for 24 h with the culture medium containing lactate uniformly labeled with carbon 14 and then, lactate inside the cell is evaluated by counting the radioactivity by a scintillator.

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