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J Bacteriol. 2001 Sep;183(17):5110-21.

Regulation of the glv operon in Bacillus subtilis: YfiA (GlvR) is a positive regulator of the operon that is repressed through CcpA and cre.

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  • 1Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, 3-15-1 Tokida, Ueda-shi, Nagano 386-8567, Japan.


Maltose metabolism and the regulation of the glv operon of Bacillus subtilis, comprising three genes, glvA (6-phospho-alpha-glucosidase), yfiA (now designated glvR), and glvC (EIICB transport protein), were investigated. Maltose dissimilation was dependent primarily upon the glv operon, and insertional inactivation of either glvA, glvR, or glvC markedly inhibited growth on the disaccharide. A second system (MalL) contributed to a minor extent to maltose metabolism. Northern blotting revealed two transcripts corresponding to a monocistronic mRNA of glvA and a polycistronic mRNA of glvA-glvR-glvC. Primer extension analysis showed that both transcripts started at the same base (G) located 26 bp upstream of the 5' end of glvA. When glvR was placed under control of the spac promoter, expression of the glv operon was dependent upon the presence of isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside (IPTG). In regulatory studies, the promoter sequence of the glv operon was fused to lacZ and inserted into the amyE locus, and the resultant strain (AMGLV) was then transformed with a citrate-controlled glvR plasmid, pHYCM2VR. When cultured in Difco sporulation medium containing citrate, this transformant [AMGLV(pHYCM2VR)] expressed LacZ activity, but synthesis of LacZ was repressed by glucose. In an isogenic strain, [AMGLVCR(pHYCM2VR)], except for a mutation in the sequence of a catabolite-responsive element (cre), LacZ activity was expressed in the presence of citrate and glucose. Insertion of a citrate-controlled glvR plasmid at the amyE locus of ccpA(+) and ccpA mutant organisms yielded strains AMCMVR and AMCMVRCC, respectively. In the presence of both glucose and citrate, AMCMVR failed to express the glv operon, whereas under the same conditions high-level expression of both mRNA transcripts was found in strain AMCMVRCC. Collectively, our findings suggest that GlvR (the product of the glvR gene) is a positive regulator of the glv operon and that glucose exerts its effect via catabolite repression requiring both CcpA and cre.

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