Bacillus subtilis is capable of degrading fructosamines. The phosphorylation and the cleavage of the resulting fructosamine 6-phosphates is catalyzed by the frlD and frlB gene products, respectively. This study addresses the physiological importance of the frlBONMD genes (formerly yurPONML), revealing the necessity of their expression for growth on fructosamines and focusing on the complex regulation of the corresponding transcription unit. In addition to the known regulation by the global transcriptional regulator CodY, the frl genes are repressed by the convergently transcribed FrlR (formerly YurK). The latter causes repression during growth on substrates other than fructosamines. Additionally, we identified in the first intergenic region of the operon an FrlR binding site which is centrally located within a 38-bp perfect palindromic sequence. There is genetic evidence that this sequence, in combination with FrlR, contributes to the remarkable decrease in the transcription downstream of the first gene of the frl operon
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