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J Bacteriol. 1998 Feb;180(4):950-5.

Regulation of riboflavin biosynthesis in Bacillus subtilis is affected by the activity of the flavokinase/flavin adenine dinucleotide synthetase encoded by ribC.

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Biotechnology Section, Vitamin Division, Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd., Basel, Switzerland.


This work shows that the ribC wild-type gene product has both flavokinase and flavin adenine dinucleotide synthetase (FAD-synthetase) activities. RibC plays an essential role in the flavin metabolism of Bacillus subtilis, as growth of a ribC deletion mutant strain was dependent on exogenous supply of FMN and the presence of a heterologous FAD-synthetase gene in its chromosome. Upon cultivation with growth-limiting amounts of FMN, this ribC deletion mutant strain overproduced riboflavin, while with elevated amounts of FMN in the culture medium, no riboflavin overproduction was observed. In a B. subtilis ribC820 mutant strain, the corresponding ribC820 gene product has reduced flavokinase/FAD-synthetase activity. In this strain, riboflavin overproduction was also repressed by exogenous FMN but not by riboflavin. Thus, flavin nucleotides, but not riboflavin, have an effector function for regulation of riboflavin biosynthesis in B. subtilis, and RibC seemingly is not directly involved in the riboflavin regulatory system. The mutation ribC820 leads to deregulation of riboflavin biosynthesis in B. subtilis, most likely by preventing the accumulation of the effector molecule FMN or FAD.

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