The glutamine synthetase (EC 220.127.116.11) from the haloarchaeon Haloferax mediterranei has been purified and characterized in order to understand the ammonium assimilation in haloarchaea. Based on sodium dodecyl sulfate polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and gel-filtration chromatography, the enzyme consists of eight subunits of 51.7 kDa, suggesting that this enzyme belongs to the glutamine synthetase type II. The purified enzyme has been characterized with respect to its optimum temperature (45 degrees C) and pH value (8.0). The optimal NaCl or KCl concentrations for the reaction were 0.5 and 0.25 M, respectively. The effect of l-methionine-d, l-sulphoximine and different divalent metal ions has also been tested. The glutamine synthetase presented here is unusual; it shows the typical characteristic of eukaryotic and soil bacteria glutamine synthetases.
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