Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary nit-4 is a pathway-specific regulatory gene which controls nitrate assimilation in Neurospora crassa, and appears to mediate nitrate induction of nitrate and nitrite reductase. The NIT4 protein consists of 1090 amino-acid residues and possesses a single GAL4-like putative DNA-binding domain plus acidic, glutaminerich, and polyglutamine regions. Several mutants with amino-acid substitutions in the putative DNA-binding domain and a nit-4 deletion mutant, which encodes a truncated NIT4 protein lacking the polyglutamine region, are functional, i.e., they are capable of transforming a nit-4 mutant strain. However, transformants obtained with most of these nit-4 mutant genes possess a markedly reduced level of nitrate reductase and grow only slowly on nitrate, emphasizing the need to examine quantitatively the affects of in vitro-manipulated genes. The possibility that some mutant genes could yield transformants only if multiple copies were integrated was examined. The presence of multiple copies of wild-type or mutant nit-4 genes did not generally lead to increased enzyme activity or growth rate, but instead frequently appeared to be detrimental to nit-4 function. A hybrid nit-4-nirA gene transforms nit-4 mutants but only allows slow growth on nitrate and has a very low level of nitrate reductase.
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