A cluster of arginine biosynthetic genes of ATCC 13032, comprising and as well as part of and has been cloned by heterologous complementation of an mutant. The gene order has been established as by sequencing the entire 4.4 kb cloned DNA fragment. The gene can be transcribed in cells from an internal promoter located in the coding part of the preceding gene, whereas transcription of the gene appears vector-dependent. Expression of the corynebacterial gene is repressed by arginine in the native host but not in recombinant cells. Feedback inhibition of the corresponding -acetylglutamate kinase activity was observed both in cell extracts of and in recombinant auxotrophic strains. Extracts of cells carrying cloned corynebacterial DNA display an ornithine acetyltransferase activity (encoded by which alleviates the acetylornithinase (encoded by deficiency of the enterobacterial host. In contrast to ornithine acetyltransferase which also exhibits acetylglutamate synthase activity, ornithine acetyltransferase appears monofunctional. ArgA and ArgB proteins from different sources share highly significant similarities. The evolutionary implications of these data are discussed.


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