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J Bacteriol. 2009 Apr;191(8):2423-30. doi: 10.1128/JB.01464-08. Epub 2009 Feb 6.

A widely conserved gene cluster required for lactate utilization in Bacillus subtilis and its involvement in biofilm formation.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, the Biological Laboratories, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Losick@mcb.harvard.edu


We report that catabolism of l-lactate in Bacillus subtilis depends on the previously uncharacterized yvfV-yvfW-yvbY (herein renamed lutABC) operon, which is inferred to encode three iron-sulfur-containing proteins. The operon is under the dual control of a GntR-type repressor (LutR, formerly YvfI) and the master regulator for biofilm formation SinR and is induced during growth in response to l-lactate. Operons with high similarity to lutABC are present in the genomes of a variety of gram-positive and gram-negative bacteria, raising the possibility that LutABC is a widely conserved and previously unrecognized pathway for the utilization of l-lactate or related metabolites.

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