Regulatory Links Between Carbon and Nitrogen Metabolism

Curr Opin Microbiol. 2006 Apr;9(2):167-72. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2006.01.001. Epub 2006 Feb 2.


The metabolism of carbon- and nitrogen-containing compounds is fundamental to all forms of life. To cope with changing environmental conditions, bacteria have to sense the nutrient supply and adapt their metabolism accordingly. In addition to nutrient- and pathway-specific responses, they integrate information from the different branches of metabolism to coordinate the control of the expression of many metabolic genes. Two major players interconnecting carbon and nitrogen regulation are the PII proteins and the phosphotransferase system. Moreover, several DNA-binding transcription regulators sense signals are derived from both carbon and nitrogen metabolism. The regulatory networks enable the bacteria to make the appropriate metabolic responses to changing nutrient availabilities in the environment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Bacterial / physiology
  • Bacteria / metabolism*
  • Bacterial Physiological Phenomena
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / physiology
  • Carbon / metabolism*
  • Nitrogen / metabolism*
  • PII Nitrogen Regulatory Proteins / physiology
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System / physiology
  • Phosphotransferases (Nitrogenous Group Acceptor) / physiology
  • Phosphotransferases / physiology
  • Regulon
  • Repressor Proteins / genetics
  • Repressor Proteins / physiology
  • Signal Transduction


  • Antigens, Bacterial
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • PII Nitrogen Regulatory Proteins
  • Repressor Proteins
  • Carbon
  • Phosphotransferases
  • Phosphoenolpyruvate Sugar Phosphotransferase System
  • phosphocarrier protein HPr
  • Phosphotransferases (Nitrogenous Group Acceptor)
  • phosphoenolpyruvate-protein phosphotransferase
  • Nitrogen