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The Myxococcus xanthus asgA gene encodes a novel signal transduction protein required for multicellular development.

By L Plamann, Y Li, B Cantwell and J Mayor


The Myxococcus xanthus asgA gene is one of three known genes necessary for the production of extracellular A-signal, a cell density signal required early in fruiting body development. We determined the DNA sequence of asgA. The deduced 385-amino-acid sequence of AsgA was found to contain two domains: one homologous to the receiver domain of response regulators and the other homologous to the transmitter domain of histidine protein kinases. A kanamycin resistance (Kmr) gene was inserted at various positions within or near the asgA gene to determine the null phenotype. Those strains with the Kmr gene inserted upstream or downstream of asgA are able to form fruiting bodies, while strains containing the Kmr gene inserted within asgA fail to develop. The nature and location of the asgA476 mutation were determined. This mutation causes a leucine-to-proline substitution within a conserved stretch of hydrophobic residues in the N-terminal receiver domain. Cells containing the insertion within asgA and cells containing the asgA476 substitution have similar phenotypes with respect to development, colony color, and expression of an asg-dependent gene. An analysis of expression of a translational asgA-lacZ fusion confirms that asgA is expressed during growth and early development. Finally, we propose that AsgA functions within a signal transduction pathway that is required to sense starvation and to respond with the production of extracellular A-signal

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1995
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.177.8.2014-2020.1995
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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