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The PDZ domain of the SpoIVB serine peptidase facilitates multiple functions

By J.A. Brannigan, N.T. Hoa and S.M. Cutting


During spore formation in Bacillus subtilis, the SpoIVB protein is a critical component of the sigma (K) regulatory checkpoint. SpoIVB has been shown to be a serine peptidase that is synthesized in the spore chamber and which self-cleaves, releasing active forms. These forms can signal proteolytic processing of the transcription factor sigma (K) in the outer mother cell chamber of the sporulating cell. This forms the basis of the sigma (K) checkpoint and ensures accurate sigma (K)-controlled gene expression. SpoIVB has also been shown to activate a second distinct process, termed the second function, which is essential for the formation of heat-resistant spores. In addition to the serine peptidase domain, SpoIVB contains a PDZ domain. We have altered a number of conserved residues in the PDZ domain by site-directed mutagenesis and assayed the sporulation phenotype and signaling properties of mutant SpoIVB proteins. Our work has revealed that the SpoIVB PDZ domain could be used for up to four distinct processes, (i) targeting of itself for trans proteolysis, (11) binding to the protease inhibitor BofC, (iii) signaling of pro-sigma (K) processing, and (iv) signaling of the second function of SpoIVB

Year: 2001
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