AmtB-mediated NH3 transport in prokaryotes must be active and as a consequence regulation of transport by GlnK is mandatory to limit futile cycling of NH4+/NH3

Fred C. Boogerd, Hongwu Ma, Frank J. Bruggeman, Wally C. van Heeswijk, Rodolfo Garcia-Contreras, Douwe Molenaar, Klaas Krab, Hans V. Westerhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The nature of the ammonium import into prokaryotes has been controversial. A systems biological approach makes us hypothesize that AmtB-mediated import must be active for intracellular NH4+ concentrations to sustain growth. Revisiting experimental evidence, we find the permeability assays reporting passive NH3 import inconclusive. As an inevitable consequence of the proposed NH4+ transport, outward permeation of NH3 constitutes a futile cycle. We hypothesize that the regulatory protein GlnK is required to fine-tune the active transport of ammonium in order to limit futile cycling whilst enabling an intracellular ammonium level sufficient for the cell's nitrogen requirements. 

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalFEBS Letters
Volume585
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2011

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