In , expression of certain genes and operons, including the fructose operon, is controlled by Cra, the pleiotropic catabolite repressor/activator protein formerly known as FruR. In this study we have demonstrated that mutant strains synthesize 10-fold less cAMP than isogenic wild-type strains, specifically when grown in fructose-containing minimal media. The glucose-specific IIA protein (IIA) of the phosphotransferase system, which activates adenylate cyclase when phosphorylated, is largely dephosphorylated in but not wild-type strains growing under these conditions. Dephosphorylation of IIAin strains apparently results from enhanced fructose operon transcription and fructose uptake. These conclusions were supported by showing that fructose-grown strains possess 2.5-fold higher fructose-1-phosphate kinase activity than fructose-grown wild-type strains. Moreover, artificially increasing fructose operon expression in cells transporting fructose dramatically decreased the activity of adenylate cyclase. The results establish that Cra indirectly regulates the activity of adenylate cyclase by controlling the expression of the fructose operon in cells growing with fructose as the sole carbon source.


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