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Microbiology. 1997 Oct;143 ( Pt 10):3231-40.

Functional and genetic characterization of mcpC, which encodes a third methyl-accepting chemotaxis protein in Bacillus subtilis.

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Department of Microbiology, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.


A 3135 bp DNA segment downstream of the spl gene on the Bacillus subtilis chromosome was cloned and its nucleotide sequence determined. An open reading frame capable of encoding a putative protein of 654 amino acids with a calculated molecular mass of 72.1 kDa was identified. The deduced amino acid sequence was similar to the McpA and McpB proteins of B. subtilis. McpA and McpB encode different methyl-accepting chemotaxis proteins (MCPs). A mutant strain containing an antibiotic resistance DNA cassette inserted into the region containing the MCP-like reading frame suffered a complete loss of taxis to the amino acids cysteine, proline, threonine, glycine, serine, lysine, valine and arginine. The open reading frame was designated mcpC. The wild-type and an mcpC mutant strain were analysed for their content of methylated proteins and it was found that mcpC encodes a methylated membrane protein that has previously been designated H3. These results show that mcpC encodes a third MCP in B. subtilis. The transcription start site upstream of the mcpC gene was determined by primer extension analysis and it was found to be preceded by a potential promoter sequence that is recognized by the sigma D form of RNA polymerase. The level of beta-galactosidase expressed from a transcriptional mcpC-lacZ fusion was increased threefold when cells entered the stationary phase. No beta-galactosidase could be detected in a sigD genetic background.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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