Alternate mechanism for amino acid entry into Neurospora crassa: extracellular deamination and subsequent keto acid transport.


The growth of the pm nbg mutant strain of Neurospora crassa was inhibited by the amino acid analog para-fluorophenylalanine despite the fact that none of the three constitutive amino acid permeases is functional in this strain. This observation led to the detection of both a deaminase which was released into the growth medium in response to para-fluorophenylalanine and a keto acid transport system which allowed entry of the resulting keto acid into the cell. The transported keto acid was recovered in cellular protein, suggesting its regeneration as the amino acid. The cooperative activity of these two systems represents an additional mechanism for the intracellular accumulation of amino acids, which is distinct from the known amino acid permeases.

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