The Amino-Terminal 100 Residues of the Nitrogen Assimilation Control Protein (NAC) Encode All Known Properties of NAC from Klebsiella aerogenes and Escherichia coli
Journal of Bacteriology
The nitrogen assimilation control protein (NAC) fromKlebsiella aerogenes or Escherichia coli(NACK or NACE, respectively) is a transcriptional regulator that is both necessary and sufficient to activate transcription of the histidine utilization (hut) operon and to repress transcription of the glutamate dehydrogenase (gdh) operon in K. aerogenes. Truncated NAC polypeptides, generated by the introduction of stop codons within thenac open reading frame, were tested for the ability to activate hut
... ty to activate hut and repress gdh in vivo. Most of the NACK and NACE fragments with 100 or more amino acids (wild-type NACK and NACE both have 305 amino acids) were functional in activating hut and repressing gdh expression in vivo. Full-length NACK and NACE were isolated as chimeric proteins with the maltose-binding protein (MBP). NACK and NACE released from such chimeras were able to activatehut transcription in a purified system in vitro, as were NACK129 and NACE100 (a NACKfragment of 129 amino acids and a NACE fragment of 100 amino acids) released from comparable chimeras. A set of NACE and NACK fragments carrying nickel-binding histidine tags (his6) at their C termini were also generated. All such constructs derived from NACE were insoluble, as was NACE itself. Of the his6-tagged constructs derived from NACK, NACK100 was inactive, but NACK120 was active. Several NAC fragments were tested for dimerization. NACK120-his6 and NACK100-his6 were dimers in solution. MBP-NACK and MBP-NACK129 were monomers in solution but dimerized when the MBP was released by cleavage with factor Xa. MBP-NACE was readily cleaved by factor Xa, but the resulting NACE was also degraded by the protease. However, MBP-NACE-his6 was completely resistant to cleavage by factor Xa, suggesting an interaction between the C and N termini of this protein.