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Regulatory interactions between the Pho and sigma(B)-dependent general stress regulons of Bacillus subtilis

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Zoltan Pragai, Professor Colin Harwood


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When Bacillus subtilis is subjected to phosphate starvation, the Pho and sigma(B)-dependent general stress regulons are activated to elicit, respectively, specific and non-specific responses to this nutrient-limitation stress. A set of isogenic mutants, with a beta-galactosidase reporter gene transcriptionally fused to the inactivated target gene, was used to identify genes of unknown function that are induced or repressed under phosphate limitation. Nine phosphatestarvation-induced (psi) genes were identified: yhaX, yhbH, ykoL and yttP were regulated by the PhoP-PhoR two-component system responsible for controlling the expression of genes in the Pho regulon, while ywmG (renamed csbD), yheK, ykzA, ysnF and yvgO were dependent on the alternative sigma factor a B, which controls the expression of the general stress genes. Genes yhaX and yhbH are unique members of the Pho regulon, since they are phosphate-starvation induced via PhoP-PhoR from a sporulation-specific sigma(E) promoter or a promoter that requires the product of a sigma(E)-dependent gene. Null mutations in key regulatory genes phoR and sigB showed that the Pho and sigma(B)-dependent general stress regulons of Bacillus subtilis interact to modulate the levels at which each are activated.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Pragai Z; Harwood CR

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Microbiology

Year: 2002

Volume: 148

Issue: 5

Pages: 1593-1602

ISSN (print): 1350-0872

ISSN (electronic): 1465-2080

Publisher: Society for General Microbiology