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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2015 Apr;24:88-95. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2015.01.006. Epub 2015 Feb 1.

Diverse mechanisms regulate sporulation sigma factor activity in the Firmicutes.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA; Cellular, Molecular and Biomedical Sciences Program, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT 05405, USA. Electronic address: aimee.shen@uvm.edu.

Abstract

Sporulation allows bacteria to survive adverse conditions and is essential to the lifecycle of some obligate anaerobes. In Bacillus subtilis, the sporulation-specific sigma factors, σ(F), σ(E), σ(G), and σ(K), activate compartment-specific transcriptional programs that drive sporulation through its morphological stages. The regulation of these sigma factors was predicted to be conserved across the Firmicutes, since the regulatory proteins controlling their activation are largely conserved. However, recent studies in (Pepto)Clostridium difficile, Clostridium acetobutylicum, Clostridium perfringens, and Clostridium botulinum have revealed striking differences in the order, activation, and function of sporulation sigma factors. These studies indicate that gene conservation does not necessarily predict gene function and that new mechanisms for controlling cell fate determination remain to be discovered in the anaerobic Clostridia.

PMID:
25646759
PMCID:
PMC4380625
DOI:
10.1016/j.mib.2015.01.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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