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J Bacteriol. 1996 Oct; 178(20): 6036–6042.
PMCID: PMC178463

Sigma-B, a putative operon encoding alternate sigma factor of Staphylococcus aureus RNA polymerase: molecular cloning and DNA sequencing.


We have identified a gene cluster located on the chromosomal SmaI I fragment of a highly methicillin resistant strain of Staphylococcus aureus, consisting of four open reading frames (ORFs), named after the number of deduced amino acid residues, in the sequential order orf333-orf108-orf159-orf256. The gene cluster showed close similarities to the Bacillus subtilis sigB operon both in overall organization and in primary sequences of the gene products. The complete gene cluster (provisionally named sigma-B or sigB) was preceded by an sigmaA-like promoter (PA) and had an internal sigmaB-like promoter sequence (PB) between orf333 and orf108, suggesting a complex regulatory mechanism. The polypeptides encoded by orf333, -108, -159, and -256 showed 62, 67, 71, and 77% homologies, respectively, with the RsbU, RsbV, RsbW, and SigB polypeptides encoded by the B. subtilis sigB operon. A Tn551 insertional mutant, RUSA168 (insert in orf256 of the staphylococcal sigma-B operon), showed drastic reduction in methicillin resistance (decrease in MIC from 1,600 microg ml-1 to 12 to 25 microg ml-1off

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Selected References

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