Novel modulators controlling entry into sporulation in Bacillus subtilis

Sharon Garti-levi, Ashlee Eswara, Yoav Smith, Masaya Fujita, Sigal Ben-Yehuda*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Upon nutrient deprivation, Bacillus subtilis initiates the developmental process of sporulation by integrating environmental and extracellular signals. These signals are channeled into a phosphorelay ultimately activating the key transcriptional regulator of sporulation, Spo0A. Subsequently, phosphorylated Spo0A regulates the expression of genes required for sporulation to initiate. Here we identified a group of genes whose transcription levels are controlled by Spo0A during exponential growth. Among them, three upregulated genes, termed sivA, sivB (bslA), and sivC, encode factors found to inhibit Spo0A activation. We furthermore show that the Siv factors operate by reducing the activity of histidine kinases located at the top of the sporulation phosphorelay, thereby decreasing Spo0A phosphorylation. Thus, we demonstrate the existence of modulators, positively controlled by Spo0A, which inhibit inappropriate entry into the costly process of sporulation, when conditions are favorable for exponential growth.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)1475-1483
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Volume195
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2013

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