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

Arginine biosynthesis and regulation in Lactobacillus plantarum: the carA gene and the argCJBDF cluster are divergently transcribed.

A cluster of citrulline biosynthetic genes has been cloned and sequenced from a fragment of Lactobacillus plantarum CCM 1904 (ATCC 8014) DNA isolated as complementing a Bacillus subtilis argF mutation. The gene order was carA-argCJBDF, with carA transcribed divergently from the arg cluster. Although other gram-positive bacteria show similar arg clusters, this arrangement for carA is thus far unprecedented. Downstream from the arg cluster, two open reading frames (ORF7 and ORF8) having unknown functions were found. Sequence analysis of the end of a 10.5-kb cloned DNA fragment showed that argF was 3.5 kb from the ldhL gene coding for L-(+)-lactate dehydrogenase. A tree representation of amino acid sequence clustering relationships of 31 ornithine carbamoyltransferases (OTCases) from various organisms revealed two prokaryotic groups: one with ArgF of L. plantarum and one with ArgF of B. subtilis, which are paralogous. This divergence was not observed in vivo because an L. plantarum argF mutant (AM 1215) harboring no OTCase activity was complemented by the argF genes of L. plantarum and B. subtilis. No OTCase activity was detectable when L. plantarum was grown in the presence of saturating amounts of arginine or citrulline. Arginine may repress the citrulline biosynthetic genes in L. plantarum by using 11 identified DNA motifs which resemble the Escherichia coli ARG box consensus and which are in most cases separated by multiples of 11 bp, corresponding to a DNA helical turn. The carA and argCJBDF genes are divergently transcribed. Their putative promoters are 6 bp apart and are partially overlapped by putative ARG boxes, suggesting concerted transcription regulation.[1]


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