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

ArgR and AhrC are both required for regulation of arginine metabolism in Lactococcus lactis.

The DNA binding proteins ArgR and AhrC are essential for regulation of arginine metabolism in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, respectively. A unique property of these regulators is that they form hexameric protein complexes, mediating repression of arginine biosynthetic pathways as well as activation of arginine catabolic pathways. The gltS- argE operon of Lactococcus lactis encodes a putative glutamate or arginine transport protein and acetylornithine deacetylase, which catalyzes an important step in the arginine biosynthesis pathway. By random integration knockout screening we found that derepression mutants had ISS1 integrations in, among others, argR and ahrC. Single as well as double regulator deletion mutants were constructed from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris MG1363. The three arginine biosynthetic operons argCJDBF, argGH, and gltS- argE were shown to be repressed by the products of argR and ahrC. Furthermore, the arginine catabolic arcABD1C1C2TD2 operon was activated by the product of ahrC but not by that of argR. Expression from the promoter of the argCJDBF operon reached similar levels in the single mutants and in the double mutant, suggesting that the regulators are interdependent and not able to complement each other. At the same time they also appear to have different functions, as only AhrC is involved in activation of arginine catabolism. This is the first study where two homologous arginine regulators are shown to be involved in arginine regulation in a prokaryote, representing an unusual mechanism of regulation.[1]


  1. ArgR and AhrC are both required for regulation of arginine metabolism in Lactococcus lactis. Larsen, R., Buist, G., Kuipers, O.P., Kok, J. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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