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Mol Microbiol. 2003 Jul;49(1):157-65.

Identification of additional TnrA-regulated genes of Bacillus subtilis associated with a TnrA box.

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Department of Biotechnology, Faculty of Life Science and Biotechnology, Fukuyama University, 985 Sanzo, Higashimura-cho, Fukuyama-shi, Fukuyama 729-0292, Japan.


Bacillus subtilis TnrA is a global regulator that responds to the availability of nitrogen sources and both activates and represses many genes during nitrogen-limited growth. In order to obtain a holistic view of the gene regulation depending on TnrA, we performed a genome-wide screening for TnrA-regulated genes associated with a TnrA box. A combination of DNA microarray hybridization and a genome-wide search for TnrA boxes allowed us to find 36 TnrA-regulated transcription units associated with a putative TnrA box. Gel retardation assaying, using probes carrying at least one putative TnrA box and the deletion derivatives of each box, indicated that 17 out of 36 transcription units were likely TnrA targets associated with the TnrA boxes, two of which (nasA and nasBCDEF) possessed a common TnrA box. The sequences of these TnrA boxes contained a consensus one, TGTNANAWWWTMTNACA. The TnrA targets detected in this study were nrgAB, pucJKLM, glnQHMP, nasDEF, oppABCDF, nasA, nasBCDEF and ywrD for positive regulation, and gltAB, pel, ywdIJK, yycCB, yttA, yxkC, ywlFG, yodF and alsT for negative regulation, nrgAB and gltAB being well-studied TnrA targets. It was unexpected that the negatively regulated TnrA targets were as many as the positively regulated targets. The physiological role of the TnrA regulon is discussed.

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