In many organisms there is a balance between carbon and nitrogen metabolism. These observations extend to the nitrogen-fixing, nonsulfur purple bacteria, which have the classic family of P(II) regulators that coordinate signals of carbon and nitrogen status to regulate nitrogen metabolism. Curiously, these organisms also possess a reverse mechanism to regulate carbon metabolism based on cellular nitrogen status. In this work, studies in firmly established that the activity of the enzyme that catalyses nitrogen fixation, nitrogenase, induces a signal that leads to repression of genes encoding enzymes of the Calvin–Benson–Bassham (CBB) CO fixation pathway. Additionally, genetic and metabolomic experiments revealed that NADH-activated phosphoribulokinase is an intermediate in the signalling pathway. Thus, nitrogenase activity appears to be linked to gene repression through phosphoribulokinase.


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