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J Bacteriol. 1990 Aug;172(8):4187-96.

Regulation of NAD metabolism in Salmonella typhimurium: molecular sequence analysis of the bifunctional nadR regulator and the nadA-pnuC operon.

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Department of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Medicine, University of South Alabama, Mobile 36688.


In Salmonella typhimurium, de novo synthesis of NAD is regulated through the transcriptional control of the nadA and nadB loci. Likewise, the pyridine nucleotide salvage pathway is controlled at pncB. The transcriptional expression of these three loci is coordinately regulated by the product of nadR. However, there is genetic evidence suggesting that NadR is bifunctional, serving in both regulatory and transport capacities. One class of mutations in the nadR locus imparts a transport-defective PnuA- phenotype. These mutants retain regulation properties but are unable to transport nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) intact across the cell membrane. Other nadR mutants lose both regulatory and transport capabilities, while a third class loses only regulatory ability. The unusual NMN transport activity requires both the PnuC and NadR proteins, with the pnuC locus residing in an operon with nadA. To prove that nadR encoded a single protein and to gain insight into a regulatory target locus, the nadR and nadA pnuC loci were cloned and sequenced. A DNA fragment which complemented both regulatory and transport mutations was found to contain a single open reading frame capable of encoding a 409-amino-acid protein (47,022 daltons), indicating that NadR is indeed bifunctional. Confirmation of the operon arrangement for nadA and pnuC was obtained through the sequence analysis of a 2.4-kilobase DNA fragment which complemented both NadA and PnuC mutant phenotypes. The nadA product, confirmed in maxicells, was a 365-amino-acid protein (40,759 daltons), while pnuC encoded a 322-amino-acid protein (36,930 daltons). The extremely hydrophobic (71%) nature of the PnuC protein indicated that it was an integral membrane protein, consistent with its central role in the transport of NMN across the cytoplasmic membrane. The results presented here and in previous studies suggest a hypothetical model in which NadR interacts with PnuC at low internal NAD levels, permitting transport of NMN intact into the cell. As NAD levels increase within the cell, the affinity of NadR for the operator regions of nadA, nadB, and pncB increases, repressing the transcription of these target genes.

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