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Description (originally from EcoCyc[1][2]) PII

Comments (originally from EcoCyc[1][2]) The protein PII plays a critical role in the regulation of nitrogen metabolism by controlling the level and activity of glutamine synthetase. At high nitrogen levels PII acts with adenylyltransferase to modify the glutamine synthetase subunits with adenylate and thus the enzyme is deactivated. At low nitrogen levels PII is uridylylated to form PII-UMP. PII-UMP interacts with adenylyltransferase to reconvert the modified glutamine synthetase to the active form. PII also has an effect on the transcription response activator, nitrogen regulator I-phosphate. The signalling role of PII in glutamine synthetase regulation involves at least five different protein-protein interactions. [3][4][5][6][7][8][9].


  1. 1.0 1.1 EcoCyc (release 10.6; 2007) Keseler, IM et al. (2005) Nucleic Acids Res. 33(Database issue):D334-7
  2. 2.0 2.1 EcoCyc (release 11.1; 2007) Keseler, IM et al. (2005) Nucleic Acids Res. 33(Database issue):D334-7
  3. Vasudevan, SG et al. (1994) Escherichia coli PII protein: purification, crystallization and oligomeric structure. FEBS Lett. 337 255-8 PubMed
  4. Liu, J & Magasanik, B (1995) Activation of the dephosphorylation of nitrogen regulator I-phosphate of Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 177 926-31 PubMed
  5. van Heeswijk, WC et al. (1996) An alternative PII protein in the regulation of glutamine synthetase in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 21 133-46 PubMed
  6. van Heeswijk, WC et al. (1995) An additional PII in Escherichia coli: a new regulatory protein in the glutamine synthetase cascade. FEMS Microbiol. Lett. 132 153-7 PubMed
  7. Blauwkamp, TA & Ninfa, AJ (2002) Physiological role of the GlnK signal transduction protein of Escherichia coli: survival of nitrogen starvation. Mol. Microbiol. 46 203-14 PubMed
  8. Atkinson, MR et al. (2002) Context-dependent functions of the PII and GlnK signal transduction proteins in Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol. 184 5364-75 PubMed
  9. van Heeswijk, WC et al. (2000) The Escherichia coli signal transducers PII (GlnB) and GlnK form heterotrimers in vivo: fine tuning the nitrogen signal cascade. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 97 3942-7 PubMed

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