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J Bacteriol. 1989 Jun;171(6):3085-94.

Cloning of the flagellin gene from Bacillus subtilis and complementation studies of an in vitro-derived deletion mutation.

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  • 1Genetics Institute, Inc., Cambridge, Massachusetts 02140.


The flagellin promoter and structural gene from Bacillus subtilis I168 was cloned and sequenced. The amino-terminal protein sequence deduced from the coding sequence of the cloned gene was identical to that of the amino terminus of purified flagellin, indicating that the export of this protein is not directed by a posttranslationally processed N-terminal signal peptide. A sequence that was homologous to that of a consensus sigma 28 RNA polymerase recognition site lay upstream of the proposed translational start site. Amplification of this promoter region on a multicopy plasmid resulted in the formation of long, filamentous cells that accumulated flagellin intracellularly. The chromosomal locus containing the wild-type flagellin allele was replaced with a defective allele of the gene (delta hag-633) that contained a 633-base-pair deletion. Transport analysis of various flagellin gene mutations expressed in the hag deletion strain suggest that the extreme C-terminal portion of flagellin is functionally involved in export of the protein.

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