SUMMARY: In the synthesis of only two out of eight arginine biosynthetic enzymes tested was regulated. Comparisons were made between the specific activities of these enzymes in bacteria grown on arginine or on its precursor, glutamate. -Acetylornithine 5-aminotransferase (ACOAT), an enzyme involved in both the biosynthesis and catabolism of arginine, was induced about 14-fold during growth of the organism on arginine as the only carbon and nitrogen source, and the anabolic ornithine carbamoyltransferase (aOTC), a strictly biosynthetic enzyme, was repressed 18-fold. Addition of various carbon sources to the arginine medium led to repression of ACOAT and to derepression of aOTC. Fructose, which supported only slow growth of , had a weak regulatory effect on the synthesis of the two arginine enzymes while citrate, a good carbon source for this organism, had a strong effect. The repression of ACOAT by citrate was not relieved by adding cyclic AMP to the medium. Under a variety of growth conditions leading to different enzyme activities, a linear relationship between the reciprocal of the specific activity of ACOAT and the specific activity of aOTC was observed. This inverse regulation of the formation of the two enzymes suggested that a single regulatory system governs their synthesis. Such a view was supported by the isolation of citrate-resistant regulatory mutants which constitutively formed ACOAT at the induced level and aOTC at the repressed level.


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