• Atul Narang

      Articles written in Journal of Biosciences

    • Quantitative effect and regulatory function of cyclic adenosine 5'-phosphate in Escherichia coli

      Atul Narang

      More Details Abstract Fulltext PDF

      Cyclic adenosine 5′-phosphate (cAMP) is a global regulator of gene expression in Escherichia coli. Despite decades of intensive study, the quantitative effect and regulatory function of cAMP remain the subjects of considerable debate. Here, we analyse the data in the literature to show that:

      In carbon-limited cultures (including cultures limited by glucose), cAMP is at near-saturation levels with respect to expression of several catabolic promoters (including lac, ara and gal). It follows that cAMP-mediated regulation cannot account for the strong repression of these operons in the presence of glucose.

      The cAMP levels in carbon-excess cultures are substantially lower than those observed in carbon-limited cultures. Under these conditions, the expression of catabolic promoters is very sensitive to variation of cAMP levels.

      cAMP · CRP invariably activates the expression of catabolic promoters, but it appears to inhibit the expression of anabolic promoters.

      These results suggest that the physiological function of cAMP is to maintain homeostatic energy levels.

      In carbon-limited cultures, growth is limited by the supply of energy; the cAMP levels therefore increase to enhance energy accumulation by activating the catabolic promoters and inhibiting the anabolic promoters. Conversely, in carbon-excess cultures, characterized by the availability of excess energy, the cAMP levels decrease in order to depress energy accumulation by inhibiting the catabolic promoters and activating the anabolic promoters.

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