A: The α-ketoglutarate family of amino acid synthesis (synthesis of glutamate, glutamine, proline and arginine) begins with α-ketoglutarate, an intermediate in the Citric Acid Cycle. The concentration of α-ketoglutarate is dependent on the activity and metabolism within the cell along with the regulation of enzymatic activity. In E. coli citrate synthase, the enzyme involved in the condensation reaction initiating the Citric Acid Cycle is strongly inhibited by α-ketoglutarate feedback inhibition and can be inhibited by DPNH as well high concentrations of ATP. This is one of the initial regulations of the α-ketoglutarate family of amino acid synthesis.
B: The regulation of the synthesis of glutamate from α-ketoglutarate is subject to regulatory control of the Citric Acid Cycle as well as mass action dependent on the concentrations of reactants involved due to the reversible nature of the transamination and glutamate dehydrogenase reactions.
C: The conversion of glutamate to glutamine is regulated by glutamine synthetase (GS) and is a highly significant step in nitrogen metabolism. This enzyme is regulated by at least four different mechanisms: 1. Repression and depression due to nitrogen levels; 2. Activation and inactivation due to enzymatic forms (taut and relaxed); 3. Cumulative feedback inhibition through end product metabolites; and 4. Alterations of the enzyme due to adenylation and deadenylation. In rich nitrogenous media or growth conditions containing high quantities of ammonia there is a low level of GS, whereas in limiting quantities of ammonia the specific activity of the enzyme is 20-fold higher. The confirmation of the enzyme plays a role in regulation depending on if GS is in the taut or relaxed form. The taut form of GS is fully active but, the removal of manganese converts the enzyme to the relaxed state. The specific conformational state occurs based on the binding of specific divalent cations and is also related to adenylation. The feedback inhibition of GS is due to a cumulative feedback due to several metabolites including L-tryptophan, L-histidine, AMP, CTP, glucosamine-6-phosphate and carbamyl phosphate, alanine, and glycine. An excess of any one product does not individually inhibit the enzyme but a combination or accumulation of all the end products have a strong inhibitory effect on the synthesis of glutamine. Glutamine synthase actiivty is also inhibited via adenylation. The adenylation actividty is catalyzed by the bifunctional adenylyltransferasl/adenylyl removal (AT/AR) enzyme. Glutamine and a regulatory protein called PII act together to stimulate adenylation.
D: The regulation of proline biosynthesis can be dependent on the initial controlling step through negative feedback inhibition. In E. coli, proline allosterically inhibits Glutamate 5-kinase which catalyzes the reaction from L-glutamate to an unstable intermediate L-γ-Glutamyl phosphate.
E: Arginine synthesis also utilizes negative feedback as well as repression through a repressor encoded by the gene argR. The gene product of argR, ArgR an aporepressor, and arginine as a corepressor affect the operon of arginine biosynthesis. The degree of repression is determined by the concentrations of the repressor protein and corepressor level.
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