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Mol Microbiol. 2005 Jun;56(6):1560-73.

Elaborate transcription regulation of the Bacillus subtilis ilv-leu operon involved in the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids through global regulators of CcpA, CodY and TnrA.

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


The Bacillus subtilis ilv-leu operon involved in the biosynthesis of branched-chain amino acids is under negative regulation mediated by TnrA and CodY, which recognize and bind to their respective cis-elements located upstream of the ilv-leu promoter. This operon is known to be under CcpA-dependent positive regulation. We have currently identified a catabolite-responsive element (cre) for this positive regulation (bases -96 to -82; +1 is the ilv-leu transcription initiation base) by means of DNase I-footprinting in vitro, and deletion and base-substitution analyses of cre. Under nitrogen-rich growth conditions in glucose-minimal medium supplemented with glutamine and amino acids, CcpA and CodY exerted positive and negative regulation of ilv-leu, respectively, but TnrA did not function. Moreover, CcpA and CodY were able to function without their counteracting regulation of each other, although the CcpA-dependent positive regulation did not overcome the CodY-dependent negative regulation. Furthermore, under nitrogen-limited conditions in glucose-minimal medium with glutamate as the sole nitrogen source, CcpA and TnrA exerted positive and negative regulation, respectively, but CodY did not function. This CcpA-dependent positive regulation occurred without the TnrA-dependent negative regulation. However, the TnrA-dependent negative regulation did not occur without the CcpA-dependent positive regulation, raising the possibility that this negative regulation might decrease the CcpA-dependent positive regulation. The physiological role of this elaborate transcription regulation of the B. subtilis ilv-leu operon in overall metabolic regulation in this organism is discussed.

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