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

Molybdenum effector of fumarate reductase repression and nitrate reductase induction in Escherichia coli.

In Escherichia coli the presence of nitrate prevents the utilization of fumarate as an anaerobic electron acceptor. The induction of the narC operon encoding the nitrate reductase is coupled to the repression of the frd operon encoding the fumarate reductase. This coupling is mediated by nitrate as an effector and the narL product as the regulatory protein (S. Iuchi and E. C. C. Lin, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 84:3901-3905, 1987). The protein-ligand complex appears to control narC positively but frd negatively. In the present study we found that a molybdenum coeffector acted synergistically with nitrate in the regulation of frd and narC. In chlD mutants believed to be impaired in molybdate transport (or processing), full repression of phi(frd-lac) and full induction of phi(narC-lac) by nitrate did not occur unless the growth medium was directly supplemented with molybdate (1 microM). This requirement was not clearly manifested in wild-type cells, apparently because it was met by the trace quantities of molybdate present as a contaminant in the mineral medium. In chlB mutants, which are known to accumulate the Mo cofactor because of its failure to be inserted as a prosthetic group into proteins such as nitrate reductase, nitrate repression of frd and induction of narC were also intensified by molybdate supplementation. In this case a deficiency of the molybdenum coeffector might have resulted from enhanced feedback inhibition of molybdate transport (or processing) by the elevated level of the unutilized Mo cofactor. In addition, mutations in chlE, which are known to block the synthesis of the organic moiety of the Mo cofactor, lowered the threshold concentration of nitrate (< 1 micromole) necessary for frd repression and narC induction. These changes could be explained simply by the higher intracellular nitrate attainable in cells lacking the ability to destroy the effector.[1]


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