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Archives of Microbiology

, Volume 159, Issue 6, pp 506–511 | Cite as

Ornithine cycle in Nostoc PCC 73102. Arginase, OCT and arginine deiminase, and the effects of addition of external arginine, ornithine, or citrulline

  • Antera Martel
  • Eva Jansson
  • Guillermo García-Reina
  • Peter Lindblad
Original Papers

Abstract

Arginase, ornithine carbamoyl transferase (OCT) and arginine deiminase activities were found in cell-free extracts of Nostoc PCC 73102, a free-living cyanobacterium originally isolated from the cycad Macrozamia. Addition of either arginine, ornithine or citrulline to the growth medium induced significant changes in their in vitro activities. Moreover, growth in darkness, compared to in light, induced higher in vitro activities. The in vitro activities of arginase and arginine deiminase, two catabolic enzymes primarily involved in the breakdown of arginine, increased substantially by a combination of growth in darkness and addition of either arginine, or ornithine, to the growth medium. The most significant effects on the in vitro OCT activities where observed in cells grown with the addition of ornithine. Cells grown in darkness exhibited about 6% of the in vivo nitrogenase activity observed in cells grown in light. However, addition of external carbon (glucose and fructose) to cells grown in darkness resulted in in vivo nitrogenase activity levels similar to, or even higher than, cells grown in light. Growth with high in vivo nitrogenase activity or in darkness with the addition of external carbon, resulted in repressed levels of in vitro arginase and arginine deiminase activities. It is suggested that nitrogen starvation induces a mobilization of the stored nitrogen, internal release of the amino compound arginine, and an induction of two catabolic enzymes arginase and arginine deiminase. A similar and even more pronunced induction can be observed by addition of external arginine to the growth medium.

Key words

Arginase Arginine deiminase Cyanobacterium Nitrogenase activity Nostoc Ornithine carbamoyl transferase 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antera Martel
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eva Jansson
    • 1
  • Guillermo García-Reina
    • 2
  • Peter Lindblad
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physiological BotanyUppsala UniversityUppsalaSweden
  2. 2.Institute of Applied AlgologyUniversity of Las PalmasLas Palmas, Gran CanariaSpain

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