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A novel two-component regulatory system in Bacillus subtilis for the survival of severe secretion stress

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zoltan Pragai, Dr Sierd Bron


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The Gram-positive eubacterium Bacillus subtilis is well known for its high capacity to secrete proteins into the environment. Even though high-level secretion of proteins is an efficient process, it imposes stress on the cell. The present studies were aimed at the identification of systems required to combat this so-called secretion stress. A two-component regulatory system, named CssR-CssS, was identified, which bears resemblance to the CpxR-CpxA system of Escherichia coli. The results show that the CssR/S system is required for the cell to survive the severe secretion stress caused by a combination of high-level production of the α-amylase AmyQ and reduced levels of the extracytoplasmic folding factor PrsA. As shown with a prsA3 mutation, the Css system is required to degrade misfolded exported proteins at the membrane-cell wall interface. This view is supported by the observation that transcription of the htrA gene, encoding a predicted membrane-bound protease of B. subtilis, is strictly controlled by CssS. Notably, CssS represents the first identified sensor for extracytoplasmic protein misfolding in a Gram-positive eubacterium. In conclusion, the results show that quality control systems for extracytoplasmic protein folding are not exclusively present in the periplasm of Gram-negative eubacteria, but also in the Gram-positive cell envelope.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hyyrylainen H-L, Bolhuis A, Darmon E, Muukkonen L, Koski P, Vitikainen M, Sarvas M, Pragai Z, Bron S, Van Dijl JM, Kontinen VP

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Microbiology

Year: 2001

Volume: 41

Issue: 5

Pages: 1159-1172

ISSN (print): 0950-382X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2958

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2001.02576.x

PubMed id: 11555295


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