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Gene. 1999 Nov 29;240(2):361-70.

The Mycobacterium tuberculosis mysB gene product is a functional equivalent of the Escherichia coli sigma factor, KatF.

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Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory, South Africa.


Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis, may remain dormant within its host for many years. The nature of this dormant or latent state is not known, but it may be a specialized form of the stationary growth phase. In Escherichia coli, KatF (or RpoS) is the major stationary phase sigma factor regulating an array of genes expressed in this phase of growth. A potential M. tuberculosis katF homologue was cloned using a fragment of the E. coli katF gene as a probe. DNA sequence analysis of a resultant clone showed 100% identity to a fragment of DNA encoding the M. tuberculosis mysA and mysB genes. Overexpression of mysB in M. bovis BCG resulted in an increase in katG mRNA and catalase and peroxidase activity, and an increase in sensitivity of the cells to isoniazid. An increase in katG promoter activity from a reporter vector was demonstrated when mysB was overexpressed from the same plasmid, indicating a direct relationship between MysB and katG expression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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