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Microbiology. 1999 Nov;145 ( Pt 11):3129-38.

Sequence analysis of three Bacillus cereus loci carrying PIcR-regulated genes encoding degradative enzymes and enterotoxin.

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Biotechnology Centre of Oslo and School of Pharmacy, University of Oslo, Norway.


PIcR is a pleiotropic regulator of extracellular virulence factors in the opportunistic human pathogen Bacillus cereus and the entomopathogenic Bacillus thuringiensis, and is induced in cells entering stationary phase. Among the genes regulated by PIcR are: pIcA, encoding phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC); plc, encoding phosphatidylcholine-preferring phospholipase C (PC-PLC); nhe, encoding the non-haemolytic enterotoxin; hbl, encoding haemolytic enterotoxin BL (HBL); and genes specifying a putative S-layer like surface protein and a putative extracellular RNase. By analysing 37.1 kb of DNA sequence surrounding hbl, plcA and plcR, 28 ORFs were predicted. Three novel genes putatively regulated by PlcR and encoding a neutral protease (NprB), a subtilase family serine protease (Sfp) and a putative cell-wall hydrolase (Cwh) were identified. The corresponding sfp and cwh genes were located in the immediate upstream region of plcA and could both be regulated by a putative PlcR-binding site positioned between the inversely transcribed genes. Similarly, nprB was positioned directly upstream and transcribed in the opposite orientation to plcR. Genes surrounding plcA, plcR and hblCDAB that were lacking an upstream PlcR regulatory sequence did not appear to serve functions apparently related to PlcR and did not exhibit a conserved organization in Bacillus subtilis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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