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J Bacteriol. 2011 Dec;193(24):6939-49. doi: 10.1128/JB.06197-11. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Malate-mediated carbon catabolite repression in Bacillus subtilis involves the HPrK/CcpA pathway.

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  • 1Department of General Microbiology, Institute of Microbiology and Genetics, Georg-August University Göttingen, Grisebachstr. 8, D-37077 Göttingen, Germany.

Abstract

Most organisms can choose their preferred carbon source from a mixture of nutrients. This process is called carbon catabolite repression. The Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis uses glucose as the preferred source of carbon and energy. Glucose-mediated catabolite repression is caused by binding of the CcpA transcription factor to the promoter regions of catabolic operons. CcpA binds DNA upon interaction with its cofactors HPr(Ser-P) and Crh(Ser-P). The formation of the cofactors is catalyzed by the metabolite-activated HPr kinase/phosphorylase. Recently, it has been shown that malate is a second preferred carbon source for B. subtilis that also causes catabolite repression. In this work, we addressed the mechanism by which malate causes catabolite repression. Genetic analyses revealed that malate-dependent catabolite repression requires CcpA and its cofactors. Moreover, we demonstrate that HPr(Ser-P) is present in malate-grown cells and that CcpA and HPr interact in vivo in the presence of glucose or malate but not in the absence of a repressing carbon source. The formation of the cofactor HPr(Ser-P) could be attributed to the concentrations of ATP and fructose 1,6-bisphosphate in cells growing with malate. Both metabolites are available at concentrations that are sufficient to stimulate HPr kinase activity. The adaptation of cells to environmental changes requires dynamic metabolic and regulatory adjustments. The repression strength of target promoters was similar to that observed in steady-state growth conditions, although it took somewhat longer to reach the second steady-state of expression when cells were shifted to malate.

PMID:
22001508
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3232832
Free PMC Article

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