2-Oxoglutarate levels control adenosine nucleotide binding byHerbaspirillum seropedicaePII proteins

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Abstract

Nitrogen metabolism in Proteobacteria is controlled by the Ntr system, in which PII proteins play a pivotal role, controlling the activity of target proteins in response to the metabolic state of the cell. Characterization of the binding of molecular effectors to these proteins can provide information about their regulation. Here, the binding of ATP, ADP and 2-oxoglutarate (2-OG) to the Herbaspirillum seropedicae PII proteins, GlnB and GlnK, was characterized using isothermal titration calorimetry. Results show that these proteins can bind three molecules of ATP, ADP and 2-OG with homotropic negative cooperativity, and 2-OG binding stabilizes the binding of ATP. Results also show that the affinity of uridylylated forms of GlnB and GlnK for nucleotides is significantly lower than that of the nonuridylylated proteins. Furthermore, fluctuations in the intracellular concentration of 2-OG in response to nitrogen availability are shown. Results suggest that under nitrogen-limiting conditions, PII proteins tend to bind ATP and 2-OG. By contrast, after an ammonium shock, a decrease in the 2-OG concentration is observed causing a decrease in the affinity of PII proteins for ATP. This phenomenon may facilitate the exchange of ATP for ADP on the ligand-binding pocket of PII proteins, thus it is likely that under low ammonium, low 2-OG levels would favor the ADP-bound state.

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