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Microbiology. 2004 Jan;150(Pt 1):163-70.

Functional relationship between SpoVIF and GerE in gene regulation during sporulation of Bacillus subtilis.

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Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Setsunan University, Hirakata, Osaka 573-0101, Japan.


The sporulation-specific SpoVIF (YjcC) protein of Bacillus subtilis is essential for the development of heat-resistant spores. The GerE protein, the smallest member of the LuxR-FixJ family, contains a helix-turn-helix (HTH) motif and is involved in the expression of various sporulation-specific genes. In this study, the gene expression and protein composition of sporulating spoVIF-negative cells were analysed. CgeA, CotG and CotS, which are GerE-dependent coat proteins, were not expressed in the spoVIF-negative cells. Northern blotting showed that SpoVIF regulated the transcription of cgeA, cotG and cotS in a manner similar to that of GerE. In spoVIF-negative cells, gerE mRNA was transcribed normally, but immunoblot analysis using anti-GerE antiserum showed that the quantity of GerE protein was considerably less than that in wild-type controls. Using GFP (green fluorescent protein) fusion proteins, the localization of SpoVIF and GerE was observed by fluorescence microscopy. SpoVIF-GFP was detectable in the mother cell compartment, as was GerE-GFP. These results suggest that SpoVIF directly or indirectly controls the function of the GerE protein, and that SpoVIF is required for gene regulation during the latter stages of sporulation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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