Send to

Choose Destination
Microbiology. 2003 Oct;149(Pt 10):3001-3009. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.26479-0.

The regulatory link between carbon and nitrogen metabolism in Bacillus subtilis: regulation of the gltAB operon by the catabolite control protein CcpA.

Author information

Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Institut für Mikrobiologie, Biochemie und Genetik der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Staudtstr. 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany.


Bacillus subtilis assimilates ammonium by the concerted action of glutamine synthetase and glutamate synthase. The expression of the gltAB operon encoding the latter enzyme is impaired in B. subtilis ccpA mutant strains. CcpA is a pleiotropic transcriptional regulator that is the key factor in the regulation of carbon metabolism. However, in addition to their defect in catabolite repression ccpA mutants are unable to grow on minimal media with glucose and ammonium as the single sources of carbon and nitrogen, respectively. In this work, the expression of the gltAB operon was analysed and its role in growth on minimal sugar/ammonium media was studied. Expression of gltAB requires induction by glucose or other glycolytically catabolized carbon sources. In ccpA mutants, gltAB cannot be induced by glucose due to the low activity of the phosphotransferase sugar transport system in these mutants. A mutation that allowed phosphotransferase system activity in a ccpA background simultaneously restored glucose induction of gltAB and growth on glucose/ammonium medium. Moreover, artificial induction of the gltAB operon in the ccpA mutant allowed the mutant strain to grow on minimal medium with glucose and ammonium. It may be concluded that expression of the gltAB operon depends on the accumulation of glycolytic intermediates which cannot occur in the ccpA mutant. The lack of gltAB induction is the bottleneck that prevents growth of the ccpA mutant on glucose/ammonium media. The control of expression of the gltAB operon by CcpA provides a major regulatory link between carbon and amino acid metabolism.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Ingenta plc
Loading ...
Support Center