SUMMARY: The levels of several enzymes involved in assimilation of different nitrogen compounds were investigated in in relation to the nitrogen source supplied to the cultures. Threonine dehydratase, serine dehydratase, proline dehydrogenase, histidase and urocanase were not decreased in the presence of ammonium. The latter two enzymes were induced by histidine in the culture medium, while proline dehydrogenase was induced by proline. Glutamine synthetase, urease and ornithine aminotransferase levels were higher with poor nitrogen sources and were repressed by ammonium. Arginase was induced by arginine and repressed by ammonium. Glutamine synthetase was rapidly inactivated upon addition of ammonium to the culture, and could be reactivated by treatment with snake venom phosphodiesterase, which suggested that adenylylation is involved in the inactivation. Three previously isolated mutants with abnormal glutamine synthetase activities showed pleiotropic effects on urease formation. All these data point to a mechanism controlling preferential utilization of some nitrogen sources in this species.


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