Gene Symbol: glnB
Description: regulatory protein P-II for glutamine synthetase
Alias: ECK2550, JW2537
Species: Escherichia coli str. K-12 substr. MG1655

Top Publications

  1. Ninfa A, Magasanik B. Covalent modification of the glnG product, NRI, by the glnL product, NRII, regulates the transcription of the glnALG operon in Escherichia coli. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1986;83:5909-13 pubmed
    ..In the presence of PII, the product of glnB, NRII catalyzes the removal of the phosphate from NRI-phosphate...
  2. Kamberov E, Atkinson M, Ninfa A. The Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein is activated upon binding 2-ketoglutarate and ATP. J Biol Chem. 1995;270:17797-807 pubmed
    ..We hypothesize that nitrogen sensation in E. coli involves the separate measurement of glutamine by the UTase/UR protein and 2-ketoglutarate by the PII protein. ..
  3. Xu Y, Carr P, Huber T, Vasudevan S, Ollis D. The structure of the PII-ATP complex. Eur J Biochem. 2001;268:2028-37 pubmed
    ..It has been demonstrated recently that PII and GlnK form functional heterotrimers in vivo. We construct models of the heterotrimers and examine the junction between the subunits. ..
  4. Jiang P, Zucker P, Atkinson M, Kamberov E, Tirasophon W, Chandran P, et al. Structure/function analysis of the PII signal transduction protein of Escherichia coli: genetic separation of interactions with protein receptors. J Bacteriol. 1997;179:4342-53 pubmed
    The PII protein, encoded by glnB, is known to interact with three bifunctional signal transducing enzymes (uridylyltransferase/uridylyl-removing enzyme, adenylyltransferase, and the kinase/phosphatase nitrogen regulator II [NRII or NtrB]) ..
  5. Atkinson M, Kamberov E, Weiss R, Ninfa A. Reversible uridylylation of the Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein regulates its ability to stimulate the dephosphorylation of the transcription factor nitrogen regulator I (NRI or NtrC). J Biol Chem. 1994;269:28288-93 pubmed
    ..Thus, both the PII-UTase/UR and PII-NRII interactions display the continuous variability characteristic of rheostats as opposed to the binary variability characteristic of toggle switches. ..
  6. Cheah E, Carr P, Suffolk P, Vasudevan S, Dixon N, Ollis D. Structure of the Escherichia coli signal transducing protein PII. Structure. 1994;2:981-90 pubmed
    ..These are surrounded by six alpha-helices. The structure of PII suggests potential regions of interaction with other proteins and serves as an initial step in understanding its signal transducing role in nitrogen regulation...
  7. Pioszak A, Ninfa A. Genetic and biochemical analysis of phosphatase activity of Escherichia coli NRII (NtrB) and its regulation by the PII signal transduction protein. J Bacteriol. 2003;185:1299-315 pubmed
  8. Adler S, Purich D, Stadtman E. Cascade control of Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase. Properties of the PII regulatory protein and the uridylyltransferase-uridylyl-removing enzyme. J Biol Chem. 1975;250:6264-72 pubmed
    ..Whereas Mn2+ alone supports only uridylyl-removing activity, ATP, alpha-ketoglutarate, and Mg2+ support both uridylyl-removing and uridylyltransferase activities. ..
  9. Atkinson M, Ninfa A. Role of the GlnK signal transduction protein in the regulation of nitrogen assimilation in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 1998;29:431-47 pubmed
    ..Studies with cells indicated that both PII (the glnB product) and GlnK (the glnK product) acted through the kinase/phosphatase NRII [NtrB, the glnL (ntrB) product] to ..

More Information


  1. Jiang P, Zucker P, Ninfa A. Probing interactions of the homotrimeric PII signal transduction protein with its receptors by use of PII heterotrimers formed in vitro from wild-type and mutant subunits. J Bacteriol. 1997;179:4354-60 pubmed
    ..Thus, the G89A subunits, which contain an intact T-loop region, were not "repaired" by inclusion in heterotrimers along with delta47-53 subunits. ..
  2. Jiang P, Peliska J, Ninfa A. The regulation of Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase revisited: role of 2-ketoglutarate in the regulation of glutamine synthetase adenylylation state. Biochemistry. 1998;37:12802-10 pubmed
    ..The possible biological implications of this regulatory arrangement are discussed. ..
  3. Son H, Rhee S. Cascade control of Escherichia coli glutamine synthetase. Purification and properties of PII protein and nucleotide sequence of its structural gene. J Biol Chem. 1987;262:8690-5 pubmed
    ..from an Escherichia coli strain which contains a multicopy plasmid harboring the structural gene of PII (the glnB gene)...
  4. Pioszak A, Jiang P, Ninfa A. The Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein regulates the activities of the two-component system transmitter protein NRII by direct interaction with the kinase domain of the transmitter module. Biochemistry. 2000;39:13450-61 pubmed
    ..These results indicate that PII controls NRII by interaction with the conserved kinase domain of the transmitter module. ..
  5. Ninfa A, Atkinson M. PII signal transduction proteins. Trends Microbiol. 2000;8:172-9 pubmed
  6. Jiang P, Ninfa A. Regulation of autophosphorylation of Escherichia coli nitrogen regulator II by the PII signal transduction protein. J Bacteriol. 1999;181:1906-11 pubmed
  7. Jiang P, Peliska J, Ninfa A. Reconstitution of the signal-transduction bicyclic cascade responsible for the regulation of Ntr gene transcription in Escherichia coli. Biochemistry. 1998;37:12795-801 pubmed
    ..Thus, the PII protein transduces the glutamine signal to the NRII-NRI monocycle in the form of its uridylylation state and is also the receptor of the antagonistic 2-ketoglutarate signal, which blocks the activity of unmodified PII. ..
  8. Jiang P, Peliska J, Ninfa A. Enzymological characterization of the signal-transducing uridylyltransferase/uridylyl-removing enzyme (EC of Escherichia coli and its interaction with the PII protein. Biochemistry. 1998;37:12782-94 pubmed
    ..Our kinetic data were consistent with the hypothesis that both transferase and uridylyl-removal reactions occurred at a single active center on the enzyme. ..
  9. Kamberov E, Atkinson M, Chandran P, Ninfa A. Effect of mutations in Escherichia coli glnL (ntrB), encoding nitrogen regulator II (NRII or NtrB), on the phosphatase activity involved in bacterial nitrogen regulation. J Biol Chem. 1994;269:28294-9 pubmed
    ..Thus, while the kinase and phosphatase activities of NRII could be genetically separated, some of the highly conserved residues in the C-terminal domain of NRII (Asp-287, Gly-289, Gly-291) are apparently important for both activities. ..
  10. D Auria S, Scire A, Varriale A, Scognamiglio V, Staiano M, Ausili A, et al. Binding of glutamine to glutamine-binding protein from Escherichia coli induces changes in protein structure and increases protein stability. Proteins. 2005;58:80-7 pubmed
    ..The data give new insight into the structural characteristics of GlnBP that are useful for both basic knowledge and biotechnological applications. ..
  11. Vasudevan S, Gedye C, Dixon N, Cheah E, Carr P, Suffolk P, et al. Escherichia coli PII protein: purification, crystallization and oligomeric structure. FEBS Lett. 1994;337:255-8 pubmed
    The Escherichia coli signal transduction protein PII, product of the glnB gene, was overproduced and purified...
  12. Reading N, Torres A, Kendall M, Hughes D, Yamamoto K, Sperandio V. A novel two-component signaling system that activates transcription of an enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli effector involved in remodeling of host actin. J Bacteriol. 2007;189:2468-76 pubmed
    ..These findings suggest the QseEF is a two-component system involved in the regulation of AE lesion formation by EHEC. ..
  13. Vasudevan S, Armarego W, Shaw D, Lilley P, Dixon N, Poole R. Isolation and nucleotide sequence of the hmp gene that encodes a haemoglobin-like protein in Escherichia coli K-12. Mol Gen Genet. 1991;226:49-58 pubmed
    ..We conclude that E. coli produces a soluble haemoglobin-like protein, the product of the hmp gene (for haemoprotein). Although the protein has DHPR activity, it is distinct from the previously purified E. coli DHPR. ..
  14. Maheswaran M, Forchhammer K. Carbon-source-dependent nitrogen regulation in Escherichia coli is mediated through glutamine-dependent GlnB signalling. Microbiology. 2003;149:2163-72 pubmed
    The P(II) signal transduction proteins GlnB and GlnK are uridylylated/deuridylylated in response to the intracellular glutamine level, the primary signal of the cellular nitrogen status...
  15. Atkinson M, Ninfa A. Characterization of Escherichia coli glnL mutations affecting nitrogen regulation. J Bacteriol. 1992;174:4538-48 pubmed
    ..phosphatase activity that is observed when NRII and another signal transduction protein known as PII (the glnB product) interact...
  16. He B, Choi K, Zalkin H. Regulation of Escherichia coli glnB, prsA, and speA by the purine repressor. J Bacteriol. 1993;175:3598-606 pubmed
    ..coli genes. Of five genes examined in which the putative pur operator is upstream of the coding sequence, glnB, prsA, and speA bound purified purine repressor in vitro...
  17. Magasanik B. Regulation of transcription of the glnALG operon of Escherichia coli by protein phosphorylation. Biochimie. 1989;71:1005-12 pubmed
    ..The signal is transduced to the modulator by means of 2 additional proteins: uridylytransferase and PII. ..
  18. Martinez Argudo I, Contreras A. PII T-loop mutations affecting signal transduction to NtrB also abolish yeast two-hybrid interactions. J Bacteriol. 2002;184:3746-8 pubmed
    Mutations A49P and Delta47-53 at the T loop of the Escherichia coli GlnB (PII) protein impair regulatory interactions with the two-component sensor regulator NtrB (P. Jiang, P. Zucker, M. R. Atkinson, E. S. Kamberov, W. Tirasophon, P...
  19. van Heeswijk W, Rabenberg M, Westerhoff H, Kahn D. The genes of the glutamine synthetase adenylylation cascade are not regulated by nitrogen in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 1993;9:443-57 pubmed
    ..we characterize in detail the genes from Escherichia coli encoding uridylyl-transferase (glnD), the PII protein (glnB), and adenylyl-transferase (glnE)...
  20. Herman P, Vecer J, Scognamiglio V, Staiano M, Rossi M, D Auria S. A recombinant glutamine-binding protein from Escherichia coli: effect of ligand-binding on protein conformational dynamics. Biotechnol Prog. 2004;20:1847-54 pubmed
  21. Bueno R, Pahel G, Magasanik B. Role of glnB and glnD gene products in regulation of the glnALG operon of Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1985;164:816-22 pubmed
    We have isolated insertion and deletion mutants in glnB, the structural gene of PII, a member of the adenylylation system for glutamine synthetase of Escherichia coli, to study the role of PII in the regulation of the synthesis of ..
  22. Carr P, Cheah E, Suffolk P, Vasudevan S, Dixon N, Ollis D. X-ray structure of the signal transduction protein from Escherichia coli at 1.9 A. Acta Crystallogr D Biol Crystallogr. 1996;52:93-104 pubmed
    ..The effects of crystal packing forces are discussed and potential interaction sites with other proteins and effector molecules are identified. ..
  23. Ma H, Boogerd F, Goryanin I. Modelling nitrogen assimilation of Escherichia coli at low ammonium concentration. J Biotechnol. 2009;144:175-83 pubmed publisher
    ..model simulation of the short term dynamic response to increased external ammonium concentrations implied that the maximal rate for GlnB/GlnK uridylylation/deuridylylation might be higher for a quick response to environmental changes.
  24. Salinas P, Contreras A. Identification and analysis of Escherichia coli proteins that interact with the histidine kinase NtrB in a yeast two-hybrid system. Mol Genet Genomics. 2003;269:574-81 pubmed
    ..Three different genes, encoding GlnB, GlnK and AspA, respectively, were found among 64 positive clones identified from E...
  25. van Heeswijk W, Molenaar D, Hoving S, Westerhoff H. The pivotal regulator GlnB of Escherichia coli is engaged in subtle and context-dependent control. FEBS J. 2009;276:3324-40 pubmed publisher
    ..Intracellular concentrations of the pivotal regulatory protein GlnB were modulated by varying expression of its gene (glnB). Neither glnB expression nor P(II)* (i.e...
  26. Blauwkamp T, Ninfa A. Physiological role of the GlnK signal transduction protein of Escherichia coli: survival of nitrogen starvation. Mol Microbiol. 2002;46:203-14 pubmed
    ..The specific roles of GlnK during nitrogen starvation were not the result of a distinct function of the protein, as expression of PII from the glnK promoter in cells lacking GlnK restored the wild-type phenotypes. ..
  27. Forchhammer K, Hedler A, Strobel H, Weiss V. Heterotrimerization of PII-like signalling proteins: implications for PII-mediated signal transduction systems. Mol Microbiol. 1999;33:338-49 pubmed
    PII-like signalling molecules are trimeric proteins composed of 12-13 kDa polypeptides encoded by the glnB gene family. Heterologous expression of a cyanobacterial glnB gene in Escherichia coli leads to an inactivation of E...
  28. Atkinson M, Ninfa A. Characterization of the GlnK protein of Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 1999;32:301-13 pubmed
  29. Jiang P, Ninfa A. Sensation and signaling of alpha-ketoglutarate and adenylylate energy charge by the Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein require cooperation of the three ligand-binding sites within the PII trimer. Biochemistry. 2009;48:11522-31 pubmed publisher
  30. Jiang P, Ninfa A. Alpha-ketoglutarate controls the ability of the Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein to regulate the activities of NRII (NrB but does not control the binding of PII to NRII. Biochemistry. 2009;48:11514-21 pubmed publisher
    ..Thus, PII control of NRII activities could be dissected into distinct binding and regulation steps, and when present in its physiological concentration range, alpha-ketoglutarate apparently played a role in only the latter step. ..
  31. Liu J, Magasanik B. Activation of the dephosphorylation of nitrogen regulator I-phosphate of Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 1995;177:926-31 pubmed
    ..This effect of glutamate appears to be a backup control that becomes effective when the normal regulation of PII activity is disabled. ..
  32. van Heeswijk W, Stegeman B, Hoving S, Molenaar D, Kahn D, Westerhoff H. An additional PII in Escherichia coli: a new regulatory protein in the glutamine synthetase cascade. FEMS Microbiol Lett. 1995;132:153-7 pubmed
    ..coli PII. It contains the conserved tyrosine residue which is known to be the site of uridylylation in PII. E. coli is the first organism in which two different PII proteins have been detected. ..
  33. de Mel V, Kamberov E, Martin P, Zhang J, Ninfa A, Edwards B. Preliminary X-ray diffraction analysis of crystals of the PII protein from Escherichia coli. J Mol Biol. 1994;243:796-8 pubmed
    ..b = 64.9 A and c = 100.1 A. Both the monoclinic crystals, which diffract beyond 3.0 A, and the orthorhombic crystals, which diffract beyond 2.5 A, probably have three molecules of 12,400 Da each in the crystallographic asymmetric unit. ..
  34. Burillo S, Luque I, Fuentes I, Contreras A. Interactions between the nitrogen signal transduction protein PII and N-acetyl glutamate kinase in organisms that perform oxygenic photosynthesis. J Bacteriol. 2004;186:3346-54 pubmed
    ..The effect of glnB mutations on NAGK activity is consistent with positive regulation of NAGK by PII...
  35. van Heeswijk W, Hoving S, Molenaar D, Stegeman B, Kahn D, Westerhoff H. An alternative PII protein in the regulation of glutamine synthetase in Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 1996;21:133-46 pubmed
    ..Here we show that PII, encoded by the glnB gene, is not always essential; for instance upon ammonia deprivation of a glnB deletion strain, glutamine ..
  36. Liu J, Magasanik B. The glnB region of the Escherichia coli chromosome. J Bacteriol. 1993;175:7441-9 pubmed
    We present sequences of the glnB gene of Escherichia coli and of two open reading frames (ORFs) located directly upstream of glnB and transcribed in the same direction...
  37. Gerhardt E, Rodrigues T, Müller Santos M, Pedrosa F, Souza E, Forchhammer K, et al. The bacterial signal transduction protein GlnB regulates the committed step in fatty acid biosynthesis by acting as a dissociable regulatory subunit of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. Mol Microbiol. 2015;95:1025-35 pubmed publisher
    ..Here we show that the GlnB paralogues of the PII proteins from E...
  38. Jiang P, Ninfa A. Escherichia coli PII signal transduction protein controlling nitrogen assimilation acts as a sensor of adenylate energy charge in vitro. Biochemistry. 2007;46:12979-96 pubmed
    ..In the aggregate, our results show that PII proteins, in addition to serving as sensors of alpha-ketoglutarate, have the capacity to serve as direct sensors of the adenylylate energy charge. ..
  39. Atkinson M, Blauwkamp T, Ninfa A. Context-dependent functions of the PII and GlnK signal transduction proteins in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 2002;184:5364-75 pubmed
    ..In addition, we describe results suggesting that an additional, unknown mechanism may control the cellular level of GlnK. ..
  40. van Heeswijk W, Wen D, Clancy P, Jaggi R, Ollis D, Westerhoff H, et al. 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. 2000;97:3942-7 pubmed
    ..The PII/GlnK couple is a first example of prokaryotic signal transducer that can form heterotrimers. Advantages of hetero-oligomer formation as molecular mechanism for fine-regulation of signal transduction are discussed. ..
  41. Holtel A, Merrick M. Identification of the Klebsiella pneumoniae glnB gene: nucleotide sequence of wild-type and mutant alleles. Mol Gen Genet. 1988;215:134-8 pubmed
    The glnB gene of Klebsiella pneumoniae, which encodes the nitrogen regulation protein PII, has been cloned and sequenced. The gene encodes a 12429 dalton polypeptide and is highly homologous to the Escherichia coli glnB gene...
  42. Blauwkamp T, Ninfa A. Antagonism of PII signalling by the AmtB protein of Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol. 2003;48:1017-28 pubmed
    ..Our data are consistent with a hypothesis that AmtB interacts with PII and GlnK, and that co-transcription of glnK and amtB prevents titration of PII when AmtB is highly expressed. ..