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Formation of NADPH-nitrate reductase activity in vitro from Aspergillus nidulans niaD and cnx mutants

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Summary

Mutants of A. nidulans at several loci lack detectable NADPH-nitrate reductase activity. These loci include niaD, the structural gene for the nitrate reductase polypeptide, and five other loci termed cnxABC, E, F, G and H which are presumed to be involved in the formation of a molybdenum-containing component (MCC) necessary for nitrate reductase activity. When frozen mycelia from A. nidulans deletion mutant niaD26 were homogenized in a Ten Broeck homogenizer together with frozen mycelia from either enzA6, cnxE29, cnxF12, enxG4 or cnxH3 strains grown on urea+nitrate as the nitrogen source, nitrate reductase activity was detectable in the extract. Similar results were obtained by co-homogenizing niaD mycelia with Neurospora crassa nit-1 mycelia induced on nitrate. Thus, all A. nidulans cnx mutants are similar to the N. crassa nit-1 strain in their capacity to yield NADPH-nitrate reductase in the presence of the presumed MCC. As judged by the amounts of nitrate reductase formed, niaD26 mycelia grown on urea±nitrate contained much more available MCC than ammonium-grown mycelia. No NADPH-nitrate reductase activity was found in extracts prepared by co-homogenizing mycelia from all five A. nidulans cnx strains. Wild-type A. nidulans NADPH-nitrate reductase acid dissociated by adjustment to pH 2.0–2.5 and re-adjusted to pH 7 could itself re-assemble to form active nitrate reductase and thus was not a sueful source of MCC for these experiments. These results are consistent with the conclusion that the active nitrate reductase complex is composed of polypeptide components which are the niaD gene product, plus the MCC which is formed through the combined action of the cnx gene products. Further, the production of MCC may be regulated in response to the nitrogen nutrition available to the organism.

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Communicated by W. Gajewski

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Garrett, R.H., Cove, D.J. Formation of NADPH-nitrate reductase activity in vitro from Aspergillus nidulans niaD and cnx mutants. Molec. gen. Genet. 149, 179–186 (1976). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00332887

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Keywords

  • Polypeptide
  • Aspergillus
  • Nitrate Reductase
  • Reductase Activity
  • Active Nitrate Reductase