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Synthesis of a Bacillus subtilis small, acid-soluble spore protein in Escherichia coli causes cell DNA to assume some characteristics of spore DNA.

By B Setlow, A R Hand and P Setlow

Abstract

Small, acid-soluble proteins (SASP) of the alpha/beta-type are associated with DNA in spores of Bacillus subtilis. Induction of synthesis of alpha/beta-type SASP in Escherichia coli resulted in rapid cessation of DNA synthesis, followed by a halt in RNA and then protein accumulation, although significant mRNA and protein synthesis continued. There was a significant loss in viability associated with SASP synthesis in E. coli: recA+ cells became extremely long filaments, whereas recA mutant cells became less filamentous. The nucleoids of cells with alpha/beta-type SASP were extremely condensed, as viewed in both light and electron microscopes, and immunoelectron microscopy showed that the alpha/beta-type SASP were associated with the cell DNA. Induction of alpha/beta-type SASP synthesis in E. coli increased the negative superhelical density of plasmid DNA by approximately 20%; UV irradiation of E. coli with alpha/beta-type SASP gave reduced yields of thymine dimers but significant amounts of the spore photoproduct. These changes in E. coli DNA topology and photochemistry due to alpha/beta-type SASP are similar to the effects of alpha/beta-type SASP on the DNA in Bacillus spores, further suggesting that alpha/beta-type SASP are a major factor determining DNA properties in bacterial spores

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1991
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:207313
Provided by: PubMed Central
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