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Mol Microbiol. 2008 Sep;69(6):1491-8. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06381.x. Epub 2008 Jul 30.

tmRNA-dependent trans-translation is required for sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Agriculture and Life Science, Hirosaki University, Hirosaki 036-8561, Japan.


Spore formation in Bacillus subtilis is significantly impaired by the deletion of the gene for tmRNA (ssrA), which facilitates the trans-translation reaction that rescues stalled ribosomes and degrades incompletely synthesized peptides. Microscopic analysis revealed that the sporulation of most DeltassrA cells is blocked after forespore formation. Expression analysis of lacZ-fused genes directed by several RNA polymerase sigma factors showed that the synthesis of active sigma(K), encoded by the sigK gene, is predominantly inhibited in DeltassrA cells. The defect in sigma(K) synthesis is attributable to a defect in the skin element excision, which generates the sigK gene, caused in turn by reduced expression of SpoIVCA (recombinase) in DeltassrA cells.

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