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Nucleotide sequence and cloning in Bacillus subtilis of the Bacillus stearothermophilus pleiotropic regulatory gene degT.

By M Takagi, H Takada and T Imanaka


The regulatory gene (degT) from Bacillus stearothermophilus NCA1503 which enhanced production of extracellular alkaline protease (Apr) was cloned in Bacillus subtilis with pTB53 as a vector. When B. subtilis MT-2 (Npr- [deficiency of neutral protease] Apr+) was transformed with the recombinant plasmid, pDT145, the plasmid carrier produced about three times more alkaline protease than did the wild-type strain. In contrast, when B. subtilis DB104 (Npr- Apr-) was used as a host, the transformant with pDT145 could not exhibit any protease activity. After construction of the deletion plasmids, DNA sequencing was done. A large open reading frame was found, and nucleotide sequence analysis showed that the degT gene was composed of 1,116 bases (372 amino acid residues, molecular weight of 41,244). A Shine-Dalgarno sequence was found nine bases upstream from the open reading frame. A B. subtilis strain carrying degT showed the following pleiotropic phenomena: (i) enhancement of production of extracellular enzymes such as alkaline protease and levansucrase, (ii) repression of autolysin activity, (iii) decrease of transformation efficiency for B. subtilis (competent cell procedure), (iv) altered control of sporulation, (v) loss of flagella, and (vi) abnormal cell division. When B. stearothermophilus SIC1 was transformed with the recombinant plasmid carrying degT, the transformants exhibited abnormal cell division. These phenomena are similar to those of the phenotypes of degSU(Hy) (hyperproduction), degQ(Hy), and degR mutants of B. subtilis. However, the amino acid sequence of the degT product (DegT) is different from those of the reported gene products. Furthermore, DegT includes a hydrophobic core region in the N-terminal portion (amino acid numbers 50 to 160), a consensus sequence for a DNA binding region (amino acid numbers 160 to 179), and a region homologous to transcription activator proteins (amino acid numbers 351 to 366). We discuss the possibility that the membrane protein DegT functions as a sensor protein and transfers the signal of environmental stimuli to the regulatory region of target genes to activate or repress transcription of the genes

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1990
DOI identifier: 10.1128/jb.172.1.411-418.1990
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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