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J Bacteriol. 2007 Feb;189(3):872-9. Epub 2006 Nov 17.

Translation control of trpG from transcripts originating from the folate operon promoter of Bacillus subtilis is influenced by translation-mediated displacement of bound TRAP, while translation control of transcripts originating from a newly identified trpG promoter is not.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.


Bacillus subtilis trpG encodes a glutamine amidotransferase subunit that participates in the biosynthesis of both tryptophan and folic acid. TRAP inhibits translation of trpG in response to tryptophan by binding to a site that overlaps the trpG Shine-Dalgarno sequence, thereby blocking ribosome binding. Similar mechanisms regulate trpP and ycbK translation. The equilibrium binding constants of tryptophan-activated TRAP for the trpG, ycbK, and trpP transcripts were determined to be 8, 3, and 50 nM, respectively. Despite TRAP having a higher affinity for the trpG transcript, TRAP exhibited the least control of trpG expression. The trpG Shine-Dalgarno sequence overlaps the stop codon of the upstream pabB gene, while six of nine triplet repeats within the TRAP binding site are located upstream of the pabB stop codon. Thus, ribosomes translating the upstream pabB cistron could be capable of reducing TRAP-dependent control of TrpG synthesis by displacing bound TRAP. Expression studies using pabB-trpG'-'lacZ fusions in the presence or absence of an engineered stop codon within pabB suggest that translation-mediated displacement of bound TRAP reduces TRAP-dependent inhibition of TrpG synthesis from transcripts originating from the folate operon promoter (P(pabB)). A new trpG promoter (P(trpG)) was identified in the pabB coding sequence that makes a larger contribution to trpG expression than does P(pabB). We found that TRAP-dependent regulation of trpG expression is more extensive for a transcript originating from P(trpG) and that transcripts originating from P(trpG) are not subject to translation-mediated displacement of bound TRAP.

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