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J Bacteriol. 2005 Mar;187(6):2010-9.

The Rok protein of Bacillus subtilis represses genes for cell surface and extracellular functions.

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  • 1Public Health Research Institute, Newark, NJ 07103, USA.


Rok is a repressor of the transcriptional activator ComK and is therefore an important regulator of competence in Bacillus subtilis (T. T. Hoa, P. Tortosa, M. Albano, and D. Dubnau, Mol. Microbiol. 43:15-26, 2002). To address the wider role of Rok in the physiology of B. subtilis, we have used a combination of transcriptional profiling, gel shift experiments, and the analysis of lacZ fusions. We demonstrate that Rok is a repressor of a family of genes that specify membrane-localized and secreted proteins, including a number of genes that encode products with antibiotic activity. We present evidence for the recent introduction of rok into the B. subtilis-Bacillus licheniformis-Bacilllus amyloliquefaciens group by horizontal transmission.

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