, Volume 186, Issue 2, pp 263-268

The regulation of the ammonia assimilatory enzymes in Rel+ and Rel strains of Salmonella typhimurium

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Summary

The influence of the relA1 mutation on the regulation of the ammonia assimilatory enzymes, glutamate dehydrogenase (EC 1.4.1.4), glutamine synthetase (EC 6.3.1.2), and glutamate synthase (EC 1.4.1.3), was examined. When cells grown in rich media (either Luria broth or glucose-ammonia plus casamino acids) were transferred to a glucose-ammonia medium, the relA mutant failed to resume growth and did not have the same increase in any of the assimilatory enzyme activities as the rel + strain. This effect was particularly dramatic for glutamate dehydrogenase, which increased 6-fold in the rel + strain. Measurements of the guanosine nucleotide concentrations showed that the rel + strain had a ppGpp concentration about 9 times that of the relA mutant 5 min after the shift to minimal medium. These results are consistent with those for other biosynthetic enzymes and show that the ammonia assimilatory enzymes require a relA product for their synthesis during shifts from rich to minimal media. In addition, we examined the response of these strains to a change in nitrogen source. The relA mutant again failed to resume growth after a shift from glucose-ammonia to glucose-arginine medium. Even though the ppGpp concentration did not increase, the rel + strain grew and increased glutamine synthetase activities about 2-fold. These changes in the absence of increased ppGpp levels suggest that some other relA-mediated function is important during this change in nitrogen source.

Communicated by G. O'Donovan