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J Bacteriol. 2002 May;184(9):2344-51.

Whole-genome analysis of genes regulated by the Bacillus subtilis competence transcription factor ComK.

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School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University, 3-20-1 Orido, Shimizu, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan.


The Bacillus subtilis competence transcription factor ComK is required for establishment of competence for genetic transformation. In an attempt to study the ComK factor further, we explored the genes regulated by ComK using the DNA microarray technique. In addition to the genes known to be dependent on ComK for expression, we found many genes or operons whose ComK dependence was not known previously. Among these genes, we confirmed the ComK dependence of 16 genes by using lacZ fusions, and three genes were partially dependent on ComK. Transformation efficiency was significantly reduced in an smf disruption mutant, although disruption of the other ComK-dependent genes did not result in significant decreases in transformation efficiency. Nucleotide sequences similar to that of the ComK box were found for most of the newly discovered genes regulated by ComK.

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