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Mol Microbiol. 2004 Jul;53(2):599-611.

Activation of the Bacillus subtilis global regulator CodY by direct interaction with branched-chain amino acids.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, 136 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02111, USA.


CodY, a GTP-activated global transcriptional regulator of early stationary phase genes, is conserved in many Gram-positive bacterial species. Recently, a number of novel targets regulated by CodY have been identified, including three Bacillus subtilis operons involved in branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) biosynthesis (Molle, V., et al., 2003, J Bacteriol 185: 1911-1922). The mechanism of involvement of CodY in regulating the ilvB operon was investigated here using in vivo transcriptional fusions, in vitro gel mobility shift assays and DNase I footprinting assays. CodY was found to mediate regulation of the ilvB operon by GTP and BCAAs and to bind to the ilvB promoter region. BCAAs increased the affinity of CodY for the ilvB promoter and for all other CodY targets tested. This effect of BCAAs in vitro was additive with the effect of GTP on CodY DNA-binding activity.

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