Summary: A mutation in a gene designated has been found to lead to loss of ability of to use benzamide, phenylacetamide and several other amides as sole nitrogen sources for growth. The lesion results in low levels of an enzyme, called the general amidase, which has activity for a wide range of amide substrates. This enzyme is repressed by certain nitrogen-containing metabolites, including ammonium, but is probably not regulated by induction or by carbon catabolite repression. Evidence is presented for the general amidase being distinct from the previously characterized acetamidase and formamidase enzymes. The data also indicate that there is a fourth amidase capable of the hydrolysis of valeramide and hexanamide.


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