Summary information and primary citation

7tec; DSSR-derived features in text and JSON formats
DNA binding protein-DNA
X-ray (3.45 Å)
Structure of the listeria monocytogenes glnr-DNA complex to 3.45 angstrom
Travis BA, Peck JV, Salinas R, Dopkins B, Lent N, Nguyen VD, Borgnia MJ, Brennan RG, Schumacher MA (2022): "Molecular dissection of the glutamine synthetase-GlnR nitrogen regulatory circuitry in Gram-positive bacteria." Nat Commun, 13, 3793. doi: 10.1038/s41467-022-31573-0.
How bacteria sense and respond to nitrogen levels are central questions in microbial physiology. In Gram-positive bacteria, nitrogen homeostasis is controlled by an operon encoding glutamine synthetase (GS), a dodecameric machine that assimilates ammonium into glutamine, and the GlnR repressor. GlnR detects nitrogen excess indirectly by binding glutamine-feedback-inhibited-GS (FBI-GS), which activates its transcription-repression function. The molecular mechanisms behind this regulatory circuitry, however, are unknown. Here we describe biochemical and structural analyses of GS and FBI-GS-GlnR complexes from pathogenic and non-pathogenic Gram-positive bacteria. The structures show FBI-GS binds the GlnR C-terminal domain within its active-site cavity, juxtaposing two GlnR monomers to form a DNA-binding-competent GlnR dimer. The FBI-GS-GlnR interaction stabilizes the inactive GS conformation. Strikingly, this interaction also favors a remarkable dodecamer to tetradecamer transition in some GS, breaking the paradigm that all bacterial GS are dodecamers. These data thus unveil unique structural mechanisms of transcription and enzymatic regulation.

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