Escherichia coli contains an inducible enzyme, cyanase, that catalyzes the decomposition of cyanate into ammonia and bicarbonate. The gene encoding cyanase, cynS, was cloned and found to be on a DNA fragment that contained the lac operon. Characterization of a plasmid encoding cyanase indicated that a 26-kilodalton (kDa) protein of unknown function was also induced by cyanate (Y-C. Sung, D. Parsell, P.M. Anderson, and J.A. Fuchs, J. Bacteriol. 169:2639-2642, 1987). The gene encoding the 26-kDa protein was located between cynS and its promoter, indicating the existence of a cyn operon. The 26-kDa protein was identified as a cyanate permease that transports exogenous cyanate by active transport. E. coli was shown to contain a cyanate transport system that is energy dependent and saturable by cyanate
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