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Nucleic Acids Res. 1989 Feb 11;17(3):999-1017.

Sigma-G RNA polymerase controls forespore-specific expression of the glucose dehydrogenase operon in Bacillus subtilis.

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Laboratory of Molecular Biology, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD 20892.


The gene encoding glucose dehydrogenase (gdh) is part of an operon whose expression is transcriptionally activated specifically in the developing forespore of Bacillus subtilis at stage III of sporulation. The in vivo startpoint of gdh transcription was determined using primer extension analysis. Deletion mapping and site-specific mutagenesis experiments indicated that the region responsible for regulated expression of gdh in vivo was limited to the "-35" and "-10" regions preceding the transcriptional start site. RNA polymerase containing omega G (E omega G) transcribed gdh in vitro with a start site identical to that found in vivo, and transcription of gdh by E omega G in vitro also did not require any specific sequences upstream from "-35" region. These results suggest that the appearance of E omega G in the forespore at stage III of sporulation is sufficient to cause temporal and compartment-specific expression of the gdh operon.

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