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

Functional and genetic characterization of the (methyl)ammonium uptake carrier of Corynebacterium glutamicum.

Under nitrogen starvation conditions, Corynebacterium glutamicum was found to take up methylammonium at a rate of 20 +/- 5 nmol.min-1.(mg dry weight)-1. The specific activity of this uptake was 10-fold lower when growing the cells under sufficient nitrogen supply, indicating a tight regulation on the expression level. The methylammonium uptake showed Michaelis-Menten kinetics with an Km of 44 +/- 7 microM and was completely inhibited by the addition of 10 microM ammonium. This finding and the fact that methylammonium was not metabolized by C. glutamicum strongly suggests that the uptake carrier actually represents an ammonium uptake system. Methylammonium uptake was strictly dependent on the membrane potential. From the pH optimum and the accumulation of methylammonium in equilibrium, it could be deduced that only one net charge is transported and, thus, that methylammonium is taken up in its protonated form via an uniport mechanism. The amt gene encoding the (methyl)ammonium uptake system was isolated and characterized. The predicted gene product of amt consists of 452 amino acids (Mr = 47,699) and shows 26-33% identity to ammonium transporter proteins from Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Arabidopsis thaliana. According to the hydrophobicity profile, it is an integral membrane protein containing 10 or 11 membrane-spanning segments.[1]


  1. Functional and genetic characterization of the (methyl)ammonium uptake carrier of Corynebacterium glutamicum. Siewe, R.M., Weil, B., Burkovski, A., Eikmanns, B.J., Eikmanns, M., Krämer, R. J. Biol. Chem. (1996) [Pubmed]
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