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Microbiology. 1999 Dec;145 ( Pt 12):3419-29.

Novel phosphotransferase system genes revealed by genome analysis - the complete complement of PTS proteins encoded within the genome of Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Biology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0016, USA.


Bacillus subtilis can utilize several sugars as single sources of carbon and energy. Many of these sugars are transported and concomitantly phosphorylated by the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS). In addition to its role in sugar uptake, the PTS is one of the major signal transduction systems in B. subtilis. In this study, an analysis of the complete set of PTS proteins encoded within the B. subtilis genome is presented. Fifteen sugar-specific PTS permeases were found to be present and the functions of novel PTS permeases were studied based on homology to previously characterized permeases, analysis of the structure of the gene clusters in which the permease encoding genes are located and biochemical analysis of relevant mutants. Members of the glucose, sucrose, lactose, mannose and fructose/mannitol families of PTS permeases were identified. Interestingly, nine pairs of IIB and IIC domains belonging to the glucose and sucrose permease families are present in B. subtilis; by contrast only five Enzyme IIA(Glc)-like proteins or domains are encoded within the B. subtilis genome. Consequently, some of the EIIA(Glc)-like proteins must function in phosphoryl transfer to more than one IIB domain of the glucose and sucrose families. In addition, 13 PTS-associated proteins are encoded within the B. subtilis genome. These proteins include metabolic enzymes, a bifunctional protein kinase/phosphatase, a transcriptional cofactor and transcriptional regulators that are involved in PTS-dependent signal transduction. The PTS proteins and the auxiliary PTS proteins represent a highly integrated network that catalyses and simultaneously modulates carbohydrate utilization in this bacterium.

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