A sporulation-induced sigma-like regulatory protein from b. subtilis

William G. Haldenwang, Naomi Lang, Richard Losick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


We have isolated a sigma-like regulatory protein termed σ29 whose synthesis or association with Bacillus subtilis RNA polymerase was induced during spore formation. σ29 is a sporulation-specific component of RNA polymerase as it was absent in enzyme from an early-blocked sporulation mutant (SpoOA). We have demonstrated specific RNA synthesis by σ29-RNA polymerase using as a DNA template a cloned cluster of vegetative and sporulation genes from the purA-cysA region of the B. subtilis chromosome. The pattern of gene recognition by σ29-RNA polymerase was distinct from that observed for RNA polymerases containing σ55 or σ37, species of sigma factor that are present in vegetative cells of B. subtilis. A reconstitution experiment in which purified σ29 was added to core RNA polymerase demonstrates that σ29 was directly responsible for the altered transcriptional specificity of sporulation RNA polymerase. We propose that σ29 is a regulatory protein that controls developmental gene transcription at an early stage of spore formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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