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J Bacteriol. 1997 Dec;179(23):7251-6.

Expression of a stress- and starvation-induced dps/pexB-homologous gene is controlled by the alternative sigma factor sigmaB in Bacillus subtilis.

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  • 1Institut für Mikrobiologie und Molekularbiologie, Ernst-Moritz-Arndt-Universität, Greifswald, Germany.

Abstract

SigmaB-dependent general stress proteins (Gsps) of Bacillus subtilis are essential for the development of glucose-starvation-induced cross-resistance to oxidative challenge. However, the proteins directly involved in this nonspecific resistance to oxidative stress have to be identified. We found that one prominent Gsp displayed strong sequence similarity to the previously characterized oxidative-stress-inducible MrgA protein of B. subtilis and to the starvation-induced Dps/PexB protein of Escherichia coli. We therefore designated this prominent Gsp Dps. While MrgA belongs to the peroxide-stress-inducible proteins needed for the H2O2-inducible adaptive response to oxidative stress, Dps belongs to the proteins induced by heat, salt, or ethanol stress and after starvation for glucose but not by a sublethal oxidative challenge. Primer extension experiments identified two overlapping promoters upstream of the coding region of dps, one being sigmaB dependent (PB) and the other being sigmaB independent (P1). Both promoters contribute to the basal level of dps during growth. After stress or during entry into the stationary phase, transcription from PB strongly increased whereas transcription from P1 decreased. Mutant strains lacking Dps completely failed to develop glucose-starvation-induced resistance to oxidative stress. These results confirm our suggestion that sigmaB-dependent general stress proteins of B. subtilis are absolutely required for the development of nonspecific resistance to oxidative stress.

PMID:
9393687
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC179673
Free PMC Article
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