Document Detail

Characterization of a morphological checkpoint coupling cell-specific transcription to septation in Bacillus subtilis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  10476035     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Early in the process of spore formation in Bacillus subtilis, asymmetric cell division produces a large mother cell and a much smaller prespore. Differentiation of the prespore is initiated by activation of an RNA polymerase sigma factor, sigmaF, specifically in that cell. sigmaF is controlled by a regulatory cascade involving an anti-sigma factor, SpoIIAB, an anti-anti-sigma factor, SpoIIAA, and a membrane-bound phosphatase, SpoIIE, which converts the inactive, phosphorylated form of SpoIIAA back to the active form. SpoIIE is required for proper asymmetric division and much of the protein is sequestered into the prespore during septation. Importantly, activation of sigmaF is dependent on formation of the asymmetric septum. We have now characterized this morphological checkpoint in detail, using strains affected in cell division and/or spoIIE function. Surprisingly, we found that significant dephosphorylation of SpoIIAA occurred even in the absence of septation. This shows that the SpoIIE phosphatase is at least partially active independent of the morphological event and also that cells can tolerate significant levels of unphosphorylated SpoIIAA without activating sigmaF. We also describe a spoIIE mutant in which the checkpoint is bypassed, probably by an increase in the dephosphorylation of SpoIIAA. Taken together, the results support the idea that sequestration of SpoIIE protein into the prespore plays an important role in the control of sigmaF activation and in coupling this activation to septation.
A Feucht; R A Daniel; J Errington
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Molecular microbiology     Volume:  33     ISSN:  0950-382X     ISO Abbreviation:  Mol. Microbiol.     Publication Date:  1999 Sep 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1999-10-21     Completed Date:  1999-10-21     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8712028     Medline TA:  Mol Microbiol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1015-26     Citation Subset:  IM    
Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
Bacterial Proteins / genetics*,  metabolism
Cell Division / genetics
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Membrane Proteins*
Sigma Factor / genetics*,  metabolism
Spores, Bacterial / genetics*
Transcription Factors*
Transcription, Genetic*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Bacterial Proteins; 0/DivIB protein, Bacillus subtilis; 0/Membrane Proteins; 0/Sigma Factor; 0/Transcription Factors; 0/spoIIR protein, Bacillus subtilis; 0/spore-specific proteins, Bacillus

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