A Lactobacillus nifS-like gene suppresses an Escherichia coli transaminase B mutation

P. Leong-Morgenthaler, S. G. Oliver, H. Hottinger, D. Soll

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The nifS gene was first identified in nitrogen-fixing bacteria where its protein product is essential for efficient nitrogen fixation. Here, we demonstrate that a nifS-like gene also occurs in Lactobacillus bulgaricus, an organism which does not fix nitrogen, and that the nifS gene product suppresses the leucine auxotrophy of an ilvD, ilvE Escherichia coli strain. The known nifS genes from prokaryotes and eukaryotes exhibit a high degree of sequence conservation although the genes have diverse functions, as shown by their ability to complement or suppress dissimilar mutations. It was suggested that the nifS gene products represent a group of enzymes, which mediate a specific chemical reaction common to diverse metabolic pathways. The purified NifS protein from Azotobacter vinelandii was experimentally shown to be a pyridoxal phosphate-dependent cysteine desulfurase. Curiously, the NifS proteins exhibit also a remarkable sequence homology to a new class of pyridoxal phosphate-dependent aminotransferases. We show that the L. bulgaricus NifS-like protein is able to replace in vivo transaminase B in E coli. This experimental observation supports the prediction that some NifS- like proteins may be aminotransferases.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)45-49
    Number of pages4
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 1994

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


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