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Microbiology. 1998 Apr;144 ( Pt 4):877-84.

A 35.7 kb DNA fragment from the Bacillus subtilis chromosome containing a putative 12.3 kb operon involved in hexuronate catabolism and a perfectly symmetrical hypothetical catabolite-responsive element.

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Institut de Génétique et de Biologie Microbiennes, Université de Lausanne, Switzerland.


The Bacillus subtilis strain 168 chromosomal region extending from 109 degrees to 112 degrees has been sequenced. Among the 35 ORFs identified, cotT and rapA were the only genes that had been previously mapped and sequenced. Out of ten ORFs belonging to a single putative transcription unit, seven are probably involved in hexuronate catabolism. Their sequences are homologous to Escherichia coli genes exuT, uidB, uxaA, uxaB, uxaC, uxuA and uxuB, which are all required for the uptake of free D-glucuronate, D-galacturonate and beta-glucuronide, and their transformation into glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate and pyruvate via 2-keto-3-deoxygluconate. The remaining three ORFs encode two dehydrogenases and a transcriptional regulator. The operon is preceded by a putative catabolite-responsive element (CRE), located between a hypothetical promoter and the RBS of the first gene. This element, the longest and the only so far described that is fully symmetrical, consists of a 26 bp palindrome matching the theoretical B. subtilis CRE sequence. The remaining predicted amino acid sequences that share homologies with other proteins comprise: a cytochrome P-450, a glycosyltransferase, an ATP-binding cassette transporter, a protein similar to the formate dehydrogenase alpha-subunit (FdhA), protein similar to NADH dehydrogenases, and three homologues of polypeptides that have undefined functions.

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