INVESTIGATION OF MALIC ACID METABOLIC PATHWAYS DURING ALCOHOLIC FERMENTATION USING GC-MS, LC-MS, AND NMR DERIVED 13C-LABELED DATA
Malic acid has a strong impact on wine pH and the contribution of fermenting yeasts to modulate its concentration has been intensively investigated in the past. Recent advances in yeast genetics have shed light on the unexpected property of some strains to produce large amounts of malic acid (“acidic strains”) while most of the wine starters consume it during the alcoholic fermentation. Being a key metabolite of the central carbohydrate metabolism, malic acid participates to TCA and glyoxylate cycles as well as neoglucogenesis. Although present at important concentrations in grape juice, the metabolic fate of malic acid has been poorly investigated. In this work, we used 13C-labeled malic acid to understand the main routes of its consumption and its de novo production. Two strains selected for their opposed malic acid metabolism were compared by combining several analytical chemistry techniques. The isotopic enrichment of intracellular amino acids was measured by GC-MS, the relative quantification of intra- cellular and extracellular labeled compounds was achieved by 2D-NMR, and the absolute quantification of labeled and unlabeled extracellular organic acids was achieved by LC-MS/MS. Although, both strains consume most of the malic acid provided, the “acidic strain” produces de novo malic acid during the second part of the alcoholic fermentation. In addition, 13C-filiation analyses provided evidence that most of the TCA is fed by glycolytic pyruvate and/or by cytosolic acetyl-CoA. Our results also confirmed that malic acid may be a secondary source of TCA cycle during alcoholic fermentation especially in high malic acid consuming strains that has an efficient malo-ethanolic fermentation. Finally, 13C-labeled compounds belonging to amino acids, alcoholic fermentation and neoglucogenesis pathways were identified, highlighting the pleiotropic position of malic acid in both catabolic and anabolic routes.
Issue: OENO Macrowine 2023
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13C-labeling, malic acid, central carbon metabolism