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Phosphate starvation induces the sporulation killing factor of Bacillus subtilis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Nicholas Allenby, Dr Carys Watts, Dr Georg Homuth, Dr Zoltan Pragai, Professor Anil Wipat, Emeritus Professor Alan Ward, Professor Colin Harwood


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Bacillus subtilis produces and exports a peptide sporulation killing factor (SkfA) that induces lysis of sibling cells. skfA is part of the skf operon (skfA-H), which is responsible for immunity to SkfA, as well as for production and export of SkfA. Here we report that transcription of skfA is markedly induced when cells of B. subtilis are subjected to phosphate starvation. The role of PhoP in regulation of the skf operon was confirmed by in vitro gel shift assays, which showed that this operon is a new member of the PhoP regulon. A putative stem-loop structure in the skfA-skfB intergenic region is proposed to act as a stabilizer of an skfA-specific transcript. Copyright © 2006, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Allenby NEE, Watts CA, Homuth G, Pragai Z, Wipat A, Ward AC, Harwood CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Bacteriology

Year: 2006

Volume: 188

Issue: 14

Pages: 5299-5303

ISSN (print): 0021-9193

ISSN (electronic): 1067-8832

Publisher: American Society for Microbiology


DOI: 10.1128/JB.00084-06

PubMed id: 16816204


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