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J Bacteriol. 1997 Dec;179(23):7280-90.

Cloning and characterization of the aru genes encoding enzymes of the catabolic arginine succinyltransferase pathway in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

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Division of Applied Microbiology, National Food Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan.


The arginine succinyltransferase (AST) pathway is the major arginine and ornithine utilization (aru) pathway under aerobic conditions in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. A 26-kb DNA fragment of the P. aeruginosa PAO1 chromosome carrying the regulatory argR gene and the aru structural gene cluster was cloned. Complementation tests and nucleotide sequence data established the locations of the argR, aruC, aruF, aruG, aruD, aruB, and aruE genes, in that order. The aruR, aruC, aruD, aruB, and aruE genes specify the ArgR regulatory protein, N2-succinylornithine 5-aminotransferase, N-succinylglutamate 5-semialdehyde dehydrogenase, N2-succinylarginine dihydrolase, and N-succinylglutamate desuccinylase, respectively, and the aruF and aruG genes encode the subunits (AruAI and AruAII) of arginine and ornithine N2-succinyltransferases. Furthermore, in vivo analysis of transcriptional aru fusions and of polar insertion mutations located at different sites in the aru cluster indicated the presence of three transcriptional units which are controlled by ArgR. The aruCFGDB genes appear to form an operon transcribed from a promoter upstream of aruC, whereas aruE has its own promoter. The argR gene, which is located upstream of the aruCFGDB operon, is a member of another (aot) operon coding for arginine transport genes. The deduced amino acid sequences of the AST enzymes were compared to those of homologous proteins of Escherichia coli specified by the ast genes lying in the chromosome region from 39.2 to 39.5 min (Kohara clone 327; GenBank/EMBL/DDJB accession no. D90818). The overall organization of the aru and ast genes in both organisms is similar, with the exception that E. coli appears to have a single AST gene.

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