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J Bacteriol. 1988 Mar;170(3):1046-53.

Structure and expression of the Bacillus subtilis sin operon.

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Department of Microbiology, Public Health Research Institute, New York, New York 10016.


The newly identified sin gene affects late growth processes in Bacillus subtilis when it is overexpressed or inactivated in the chromosome. S1 nuclease mapping of the sin gene transcripts in vivo reveals the existence of three transcripts (RNAI, RNAII, and RNAIII). By correlating 5' ends of sin gene transcripts with DNA sequence, we have identified three different promoterlike sequences (P1, P2, and P3) for these transcripts. 3'-End mapping of these transcripts identified three prominent termination sites at the end of the sin gene. These termination sites are localized on two hairpin structures previously identified from the DNA sequence. The most abundant transcript, RNAIII, coded only for the sin gene, while the polycistronic transcripts RNAII and RNAI coded for the sin gene and ORF1 that precedes the sin gene. S1 mapping and translational lacZ fusion studies indicated that ORF1 and the sin gene are regulated differently. ORF1 expression is under developmental control, increasing at the end of vegetative growth, and requires functional spo0A and spo0H gene products. The sin gene is expressed at an almost constant and relatively low level throughout growth and remains largely unaffected by spo0A and spo0H mutations.

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