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Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jul;41(2):409-22.

Transcription of glycolytic genes and operons in Bacillus subtilis: evidence for the presence of multiple levels of control of the gapA operon.

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Lehrstuhl für Mikrobiologie, Institut für Mikrobiologie, Biochemie und Genetik der Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Staudtstr. 5, D-91058 Erlangen, Germany.


Glycolysis is one of the main pathways of carbon catabolism in Bacillus subtilis. Although the biochemical activity of glycolytic enzymes has been studied in detail, no information about the expression of glycolytic genes has so far been available in this organism. Therefore, transcriptional analysis of all glycolytic genes was performed. The genes cggR, gapA, pgk, tpi, pgm and eno, encoding the enzymes required for the interconversion of triose phosphates, are transcribed as a hexacistronic operon as demonstrated by Northern analysis. This gapA operon is repressed by the regulator CggR. The presence of sugars and amino acids synergistically results in the induction of the gapA operon. The transcriptional start site upstream of cggR was mapped by primer extension. Transcripts originating upstream of cggR are processed near the 3' end of cggR. This endonucleolytic cleavage leads to differential stability of the resulting processing products: the monocistronic cggR message is very rapidly degraded, whereas the mRNA species encoding glycolytic enzymes exhibit much higher stability. An additional internal constitutive promoter was identified upstream of pgk. Thus, gapA is the most strongly regulated gene of this operon. The pfk pyk operon encoding phosphofructokinase and pyruvate kinase is weakly induced by glucose. In contrast, the genes pgi and fbaA, coding for phosphoglucoisomerase and fructose-1,6-bisphosphate aldolase, are constitutively expressed.

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