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Characterization of the promoter region of the Bacillus subtilis spoIIE operon.

By P Guzmán, J Westpheling and P Youngman


Mutations that define the spoIIE locus of Bacillus subtilis block sporulation at an early stage and recently were shown to prevent the proteolytic processing of sigma E (sigma 29) into its active form, an event that is believed to control critical changes in gene expression during the second hour of development. By taking advantage of two Tn917-mediated insertional mutations in spoIIE, we have cloned DNA spanning the locus. Gene disruption experiments with subcloned fragments transferred to integrational vectors revealed that the locus consisted of a single transcription unit about 2.5 kilobase pairs in size. Transcriptional lacZ fusions were used to show that expression of this transcription unit initiated at 1.5 h after the end of log-phase growth and depended upon the products of all spo0 loci. Expression was directed by a single promoter whose position was determined by high-resolution S1 protection mapping. A deletion analysis of the promoter region was also carried out, with novel integrational vectors based on derivatives of coliphage M13. The results indicated that a region of DNA extending from 183 to 118 base pairs upstream from the start point of transcription was required for full activity of the spoIIE promoter. The presumptive RNA polymerase-binding region of the promoter exhibited striking similarity to the spoIIG promoter and featured perfect but unusually spaced -10 and -35 consensus sequences for sigma A (sigma 43)-associated RNA polymerase

Topics: Research Article
Year: 1988
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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