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PLoS One. 2013 May 8;8(5):e63025. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0063025. Print 2013.

The use of amino sugars by Bacillus subtilis: presence of a unique operon for the catabolism of glucosamine.

Author information

1
CNRS-UPR9073, Affiliated with Université Diderot, Sorbonne Paris Cité, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Paris, France.

Abstract

B. subtilis grows more rapidly using the amino sugar glucosamine as carbon source, than with N-acetylglucosamine. Genes for the transport and metabolism of N-acetylglucosamine (nagP and nagAB) are found in all the sequenced Bacilli (except Anoxybacillus flavithermus). In B. subtilis there is an additional operon (gamAP) encoding second copies of genes for the transport and catabolism of glucosamine. We have developed a method to make multiple deletion mutations in B. subtilis employing an excisable spectinomycin resistance cassette. Using this method we have analysed the contribution of the different genes of the nag and gam operons for their role in utilization of glucosamine and N-acetylglucosamine. Faster growth on glucosamine is due to the presence of the gamAP operon, which is strongly induced by glucosamine. Although the gamA and nagB genes encode isozymes of GlcN6P deaminase, catabolism of N-acetylglucosamine relies mostly upon the gamA gene product. The genes for use of N-acetylglucosamine, nagAB and nagP, are repressed by YvoA (NagR), a GntR family regulator, whose gene is part of the nagAB yvoA(nagR) operon. The gamAP operon is repressed by YbgA, another GntR family repressor, whose gene is expressed divergently from gamAP. The nagAB yvoA synton is found throughout the Bacilli and most firmicutes. On the other hand the ybgA-gamAP synton, which includes the ybgB gene for a small protein of unknown provenance, is only found in B. subtilis (and a few very close relatives). The origin of ybgBA-gamAP grouping is unknown but synteny analysis suggests lateral transfer from an unidentified donor. The presence of gamAP has enabled B. subtilis to efficiently use glucosamine as carbon source.

PMID:
23667565
PMCID:
PMC3648570
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0063025
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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