Regulation of glutamine synthetase (EC 184.108.40.206) in Escherichia coli is mediated by adenylylation and deadenylylation of the enzyme. The present studies show that one protein is a common component of both the adenylylation and deadenylylation systems. Thus, the ATP:glutamine synthetase adenylyltransferase, which catalyzes adenylylation of glutamine synthetase, and one of the two proteins required for deadenylylation (the P(I) protein) are inseparable by a variety of fractionation procedures. The adenylyltransferase and P(I)-deadenylylating activities behave as a single protein upon filtration through Agarose A 0.5 gel, and during chromatography on DE32 cellulose and hydroxyapatite columns. They migrate as a single protein band during electrophoresis on polyacrylamide gel and have identical susceptibilities to heat inactivation. These data indicate that the adenylyltransferase and the P(I)-deadenylylation activity are associated with the same protein complex.
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