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J Bacteriol. 1993 Feb;175(3):795-801.

High-level transcription of the major Bacillus subtilis autolysin operon depends on expression of the sigma D gene and is affected by a sin (flaD) mutation.

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Department of Applied Biology, Faculty of Textile Science and Technology, Shinshu University, Nagano, Japan.


Transcription of the major Bacillus subtilis autolysin gene (cwlB) was investigated. Deletion of the region upstream of the gene cluster lppX-cwbA-cwlB led to a loss of promoter activity. Primer extension analysis suggested that the cwlB operon is transcribed by E sigma D and E sigma A, the former transcripts being predominants at the exponential growth phase. Expression of the lppX-lacZ fusion gene was reduced by about 90% in a sigD-null mutant. A sin (flaD1) mutation caused a severe defect in transcription of the lppX-cwbA-cwlB operon. The sin (flaD1) mutation also reduced expression of a sigD-lacZ fusion gene constructed in the B. subtilis chromosome. Since the sigD-null mutant exhibits motility and autolysin deficiencies and filamentation, similar phenotypes in the sin (flaD1) mutant may be caused by reduction in expression of the sigma D protein.

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