In vivo synthesis of carbamyl phosphate from NH3 by the large subunit of Escherichia coli carbamyl phosphate synthetase.

S. D. Rubino, H. Nyunoya, C. J. Lusty

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The cloned carAB operon of Escherichia coli coding for the small and large subunits of carbamyl phosphate synthetase has been used to construct a recombinant plasmid with a 4.16 kilobase ClaI fragment of the car operon that lacks the major promoters, P1 and P2. The plasmid, pHN12, carries a functional carB gene. A mutant E. coli strain lacking both subunits of carbamyl phosphate synthetase when transformed with pHN12 overproduces the large subunit by 200-fold (8-10% of the cellular protein). The elevated levels of the large subunit enable the transformed cells to utilize NH3 but not glutamine as nitrogen donor for carbamyl phosphate synthesis. The large subunit has been purified from the overexpressing strain. The purified native large subunit is capable of synthesizing carbamyl phosphate from ammonia, HCO-3, and ATP. The kinetic properties of the large subunit compared with the holoenzyme indicate that the Michaelis constants of the large subunit for HCO-3 and ATP are modulated by its association with the small glutamine binding subunit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4382-4386
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1987 Mar 25


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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