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Microbiology. 2009 Apr;155(Pt 4):1146-51. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.023853-0.

Localization of the GerD spore germination protein in the Bacillus subtilis spore.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK.


The GerD protein of Bacillus subtilis is required for efficient spore germination in l-alanine, and for germination in the alternative germinant combination of amino acids plus sugars. Only germination via nutrient receptors is affected in the mutant. The GerD protein is predicted to be a lipoprotein that is produced in the forespore compartment of the sporulating cell. Using antibody raised against the GerD protein, Western blots of proteins from spore fractions revealed that, as might be expected, the protein was detected in the inner membrane of spores, but it was also present at a high level in spore integuments (comprising coat, cortex and germ cell wall layers), and to some extent in the soluble fraction. It is likely that the GerD protein in the outer layers of dormant spores is located in the germ cell wall, as it was detected in coat-defective spores, and in the cell wall fraction of cells that were outgrowing from spores. Which of the multiple locations of GerD is important for its function is not known, but the inner membrane association would be appropriate for any interaction with germinant receptor proteins or SleB cortex lytic enzyme. Substitution of alanine for cysteine in the conserved cleavage site of the predicted prelipoprotein signal sequence of GerD resulted in mutant spores that lacked the GerD protein entirely.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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