N-acetylglutamate synthase, animal (IPR011243)

Short name: GlcNAc_Synth_met

Overlapping homologous superfamilies

Family relationships



N -Acetylglutamate (NAG) fulfils distinct biological roles in lower and higher organisms. In prokaryotes, lower eukaryotes and plants it is the first intermediate in the biosynthesis of arginine, whereas in ureotelic (excreting nitrogen mostly in the form of urea) vertebrates, it is an essential allosteric cofactor for carbamyl phosphate synthetase I (CPSI), the first enzyme of the urea cycle. The pathway that leads from glutamate to arginine in lower organisms employs eight steps, starting with the acetylation of glutamate to form NAG. In these species, NAG can be produced by two enzymatic reactions: one catalysed by NAG synthase (NAGS) and the other by ornithine acetyltransferase (OAT). In ureotelic species, NAG is produced exclusively by NAGS. In lower organisms, NAGS is feedback-inhibited by L-arginine, whereas mammalian NAGS activity is significantly enhanced by this amino acid. The NAGS genes of bacteria, fungi and mammals are more diverse than other arginine-biosynthesis and urea-cycle genes. The evolutionary relationship between the distinctly different roles of NAG and its metabolism in lower and higher organisms remains to be determined [PMID: 12633501].

The pathway from glutamate to arginine is:

  • NAGS; N-acetylglutamate synthase (EC: (glutamate to N-acetylglutamate)
  • NAGK; N-acetylglutamate kinase (EC: (N-acetylglutamate to N-acetylglutamate-5P)
  • N-acetyl-gamma-glutamyl-phosphate reductase (EC: (N-acetylglutamate-5P to N-acetylglumate semialdehyde)
  • Acetylornithine aminotransferase (EC: (N-acetylglumate semialdehyde to N-acetylornithine)
  • Acetylornithine deacetylase (EC: (N-acetylornithine to ornithine)
  • Arginase (EC: (ornithine to arginine)

This group represents a N-acetylglutamate synthase, animal type [PMID: 12049647].

GO terms

Biological Process

GO:0006526 arginine biosynthetic process

Molecular Function

GO:0004042 acetyl-CoA:L-glutamate N-acetyltransferase activity

Cellular Component

No terms assigned in this category.

Contributing signatures

Signatures from InterPro member databases are used to construct an entry.