In Klebsiella aerogenes, the formation of a large number of enzymes responds to the quality and quantity of the nitrogen source provided in the growth medium, and this regulation requires the action of the nitrogen regulatory (NTR) system in every case known. Nitrogen regulation of several operons requires not only the NTR system, but also NAC, the product of the nac gene, raising the question of whether the role of NAC is to activate operons directly or by modifying the specificity of the NTR system. We isolated an insertion of the transposon Tn5tac1 which puts nac gene expression under the control of the IPTG-inducible tac promoter rather than the nitrogen-responsive nac promoter. When IPTG was present, cells carrying the tac-nac fusion activated NAC-dependent operons and repressed NAC-repressible operons independent of the nitrogen supply and even in the absence of an active NTR system. Thus, NAC is sufficient to regulate operons like hut (encoding histidase) and gdh (encoding glutamate dehydrogenase), confirming the model that the NTR system activates nac expression and NAC activates hut and represses gdh. Activation of urease formation occurred at a lower level of NAC than that required for glutamate dehydrogenase repression, and activation of histidase formation required still more NAC
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