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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Apr;9(2):167-72. Epub 2006 Feb 2.

Regulatory links between carbon and nitrogen metabolism.

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Department of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August University Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 8, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.


The metabolism of carbon- and nitrogen-containing compounds is fundamental to all forms of life. To cope with changing environmental conditions, bacteria have to sense the nutrient supply and adapt their metabolism accordingly. In addition to nutrient- and pathway-specific responses, they integrate information from the different branches of metabolism to coordinate the control of the expression of many metabolic genes. Two major players interconnecting carbon and nitrogen regulation are the PII proteins and the phosphotransferase system. Moreover, several DNA-binding transcription regulators sense signals are derived from both carbon and nitrogen metabolism. The regulatory networks enable the bacteria to make the appropriate metabolic responses to changing nutrient availabilities in the environment.

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