How nature repurposes ammonium transporters as receptors

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How nature repurposes ammonium transporters as receptors

Research team at the University of Freiburg identifies new membrane protein Sd-Amt1

A team led by Freiburg biochemist Susana Andrade has characterised a new membrane protein that allows microorganisms to repurpose ammonium transporters (Amts) as receptors. Ammonium transporters clearly distinguish between ammonium, potassium and water. This property has certainly contributed to their conversion into ammonium receptors in the course of evolution. The newly discovered protein Sd-Amt1 utilises ammonium cations as extracellular signals to increase the cytoplasmic level of the secondary messenger cyclic-di-GMP. It consists of a membrane-integral ammonium receptor domain linked to a cytoplasmic diguanylate cyclase transducer module. ...

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