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J Bacteriol. 1994 Jun;176(11):3321-7.

Glucitol induction in Bacillus subtilis is mediated by a regulatory factor, GutR.

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Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.


Expression of the glucitol dehydrogenase gene (gutB) is suggested to be regulated both positively and negatively in Bacillus subtilis. A mutation in the gutR locus results in the constitutive expression of gutB. The exact nature of this mutation and the function of gutR are still unknown. Cloning and characterization of gutR indicated that this gene is located immediately upstream of gutB and is transcribed in the opposite direction relative to gutB. GutR is suggested to be a 95-kDa protein with a putative helix-turn-helix motif and a nucleotide binding domain at the N-terminal region. At the C-terminal region, a short sequence of GutR shows homology with two proteins, Cyc8 (glucose repression mediator protein) and GsiA (glucose starvation-inducible protein), known to be directly or indirectly involved in catabolite repression. Part of the C-terminal conserved sequence from these proteins shows all the features observed in the tetratricopeptide motif found in many eucaryotic proteins. To study the functional role of gutR, chromosomal gutR was insertionally inactivated. A total loss of glucitol inducibility was observed. Reintroduction of a functional gutR to the GutR-deficient strain through integration at the amyE locus restores the inducibility. Therefore, GutR serves as a regulatory factor to modulate glucitol induction. The nature of the gutR1 mutation was also determined. A single amino acid change (serine-289 to arginine-289) near the putative nucleotide binding motif B in GutR is responsible for the observed phenotype. Possible models for the action of GutR are discussed.

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