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Mol Microbiol. 2000 Sep;37(5):1198-207.

Interaction of ResD with regulatory regions of anaerobically induced genes in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Oregon Graduate Institute of Science and Technology, Beaverton, OR 97006, USA.


The two-component regulatory proteins ResD and ResE are required for anaerobic nitrate respiration in Bacillus subtilis. ResD, when it undergoes ResE-dependent phosphorylation, is thought to activate transcriptionally anaerobically induced genes such as fnr, hmp and nasD. In this report, deletion analysis of the fnr, hmp and nasD promoter regions was carried out to identify cis-acting sequences required for ResDE-dependent transcription. The results suggest that the hmp and nasD promoters have multiple target sequences for ResDE-dependent regulation and that fnr has a single target site. Gel mobility shift assays and DNase I footprinting analyses were performed to determine whether ResD interacts directly with the regulatory regions of the three genes. Our results indicate that ResD specifically binds to sequences residing upstream of the hmp and nasD promoters and that phosphorylation of ResD significantly stimulates this binding. In contrast, a higher concentration of ResD is required for binding to the fnr promoter region and no stimulation of the binding by ResD phosphorylation was observed. Taken together, these results suggest that ResD activates transcription of fnr, hmp and nasD by interacting with DNA upstream of these promoters. Our results suggest that phosphorylation of ResD stimulates binding to multiple ResD binding sites, but is much less stimulatory if only a single binding site exists.

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