Ammonia-Induced Formation of an AmtB-GlnK Complex Is Not Sufficient for Nitrogenase Regulation in the Photosynthetic Bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus.

Pier-Luc Tremblay, Patrick C. Hallenbeck

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

A series of Rhodobacter capsulatus AmtB variants were created and assessed for effects on ammonia transport, formation of AmtB-GlnK complexes, and regulation of nitrogenase activity and NifH ADP-ribosylation. Confirming previous reports, H193 and H342 were essential for ammonia transport and the replacement of aspartate 185 with glutamate reduced ammonia transport. Several amino acid residues, F131, D334, and D335, predicted to be critical for AmtB activity, are shown here for the first time by mutational analysis to be essential for transport. Alterations of the C-terminal tail reduced methylamine transport, prevented AmtB-GlnK complex formation, and abolished nitrogenase switch-off and NifH ADP-ribosylation. On the other hand, D185E, with a reduced level of transport, was capable of forming an ammonium-induced complex with GlnK and regulating nitrogenase. This reinforces the notions that ammonia transport is not sufficient for nitrogenase regulation and that formation of an AmtB-GlnK complex is necessary for these processes. However, some transport-incompetent AmtB variants, i.e., F131A, H193A, and H342A, form ammonium-induced complexes with GlnK but fail to properly regulate nitrogenase. These results show that formation of an AmtB-GlnK complex is insufficient in itself for nitrogenase regulation and suggest that partial ammonia transport or occupation of the pore by ammonia is essential for this function.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Volume190
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1588-1594
ISSN0021-9193
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Ammonia

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