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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Nitrogen-regulated genes for the metabolism of cyanophycin, a bacterial nitrogen reserve polymer: expression and mutational analysis of two cyanophycin synthetase and cyanophycinase gene clusters in heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120.

Two gene clusters each encoding the cyanophycin-metabolism enzymes cyanophycin synthetase and cyanophycinase are found in the heterocyst-forming cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120. In cluster cph1, the genes cphB1 and cphA1 were expressed in media containing ammonium, nitrate, or N(2) as nitrogen sources, but expression was higher in the absence of combined nitrogen taking place both in vegetative cells and heterocysts. Both genes were cotranscribed from three putative promoters located upstream of cphB1, and, additionally, the cphA1 gene was expressed monocistronically from at least two promoters located in the intergenic cphB1-cphA1 region. Both constitutive promoters and promoters dependent on the global nitrogen control transcriptional regulator NtcA were identified. In cluster cph2, the cphB2 and cphA2 genes, which are found in opposite orientations, were expressed as monocistronic messages in media containing ammonium, nitrate, or N(2), but expression was higher in the absence of ammonium. Expression of the cph2 genes was lower than that of cph1 genes. Analysis of cph gene insertional mutants indicated that cluster cph1 genes contributed more than cluster cph2 genes to cyanophycin accumulation in the whole filament as well as in heterocysts. Diazotrophic growth was more severely impaired in cyanophycinase than in cyanophycin synthetase mutants, indicating that cyanophycin, although normally synthesized in the heterocysts, is not required for heterocyst function and that the inability to degrade this polymer is detrimental for the diazotrophic growth of the cyanobacterium.[1]


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