1887

Abstract

In most bacteria, nitrogen metabolism is tightly regulated and P proteins play a pivotal role in the regulatory processes. possesses two genes ( and ) encoding P-like proteins. The gene forms part of a operon and the gene is located immediately upstream of , encoding a (methyl-) ammonium transporter. Expression of is activated by NtrC under nitrogen-limiting conditions. The synthesis and activity of the molybdenum and iron nitrogenases of are regulated by ammonium on at least three levels, including the transcriptional activation of , and by NtrC, the regulation of NifA and AnfA activity by two different NtrC-independent mechanisms, and the post-translational control of the activity of both nitrogenases by reversible ADP-ribosylation of NifH and AnfH as well as by ADP-ribosylation independent switch-off. Mutational analysis revealed that both P-like proteins are involved in the ammonium regulation of the two nitrogenase systems. A mutation in results in the constitutive expression of and . In addition, the post-translational ammonium inhibition of NifA activity is completely abolished in a double mutant. However, AnfA activity was still suppressed by ammonium in the double mutant. Furthermore, the P-like proteins are involved in ammonium control of nitrogenase activity via ADP-ribosylation and the switch-off response. Remarkably, in the double mutant, all three levels of the ammonium regulation of the molybdenum (but not of the alternative) nitrogenase are completely circumvented, resulting in the synthesis of active molybdenum nitrogenase even in the presence of high concentrations of ammonium.

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2003-08-01
2019-11-15
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