Metabolic changes in response to histidine starvation were observed in histidine-auxotrophic Escherichia coli using a capillary electrophoresis time-of-flight mass spectrometry (CE-TOFMS)-based metabolomics technique. Prior to the analysis, we prepared an E. coli metabolome list of 727 metabolites reported in the literature. An improved method for metabolite extraction was developed, which resulted in higher extraction efficiency in phosphate-rich metabolites, e.g., ATP and GTP. Based on the results, 375 charged, hydrophilic intermediates in primary metabolisms were analysed simultaneously, providing quantitative data of 198 metabolites. We confirmed that the intracellular levels of intermediates in histidine biosynthesis are rapidly accumulated in response to a drop in histidine level under histidine-starved conditions. Simultaneously, disciplined responses were observed in the glycolysis, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and amino acid and nucleotide biosynthesis pathways as regulated by amino acid starvation.
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