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Mol Microbiol. 1991 May;5(5):1081-9.

Analysis of the gluconate (gnt) operon of Bacillus subtilis.

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  • 1Department of Biology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093-0116.


The gluconate (gnt) operon of Bacillus subtilis includes the gntR, gntK, gntP, and gntZ genes, respectively encoding the transcriptional repressor of the operon, gluconate kinase, the gluconate permease, and an unidentified open reading frame (Fujita and Fujita, 1987). We have compared the proteins encoded by the gnt operon of B.subtilis with published sequences and showed that (i) the gluconate repressor is homologous to several putative regulatory proteins in Escherichia coli, (ii) the gluconate kinase of B. subtilis is homologous to xylulose kinase, glycerol kinase and fucose kinase in E. coli (20-26% identity; 12-59 S.D.), (iii) the gluconate permease exhibits a C-terminal domain which is homologous to a hydrophobic protein encoded by an unidentified open reading frame (dsdAp) which precedes the dsdA gene of E. coli (39% identity; 19 S.D.), and (iv) the gntZ gene product is homologous to 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenases of other bacteria and of animals (48-56%; 82-178 S.D.), thereby suggesting that the B. subtilis gntZ encodes 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase. Several conserved regions of the sequenced 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenases can serve as signature patterns of this protein. Computer analyses have indicated that the previously reported sequences of the porcine and ovine 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenases, as well as the hypothetical DsdAp protein, are probably erroneous. The probable reasons for the errors are reported along with the proposed revised sequences.

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