Bacillus subtilis pro-σ(E) fusion protein localizes to the forespore septum and fails to be processed when synthesized in the forespore

Jingliang Ju, Tingqiu Luo, W. G. Haldenwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations

Abstract

Endospore formation in Bacillus subtilis begins with an asymmetric cell division that partitions the bacterium into mother cell and forespore compartments. Mother cell-specific gene expression is initiated by σ(E), a transcription factor that is active only in the mother cell but which existed as an inactive precursor (pro-σ(E)) in the predivisional cell. Activation of pro-σ(E) involves the removal of 27 amino acids from its amino terminus. A chimera of pro-σ(E) and the green fluorescent protein (GFP) was expressed from either the normal sigE promoter (P(spoIIG)), which places pro-σ(E)::GFP in both mother cell and forespore compartments, or the forespore-specific promoter (P(dacF)), which produces pro-σ(E)::GFP only in the forespore compartment. The pro-σ(E)::GFP expressed from P(spoIIG), but not P(dacF), was converted to a lower-molecular-weight form by a mechanism dependent on gene products (SpoIIGA and σ(F)) that are essential for normal pro-σ(E) processing. This finding is consistent with the pro-σ(E) processing reaction occurring only in the mother cell compartment. In processing-deficient cells, pro-σ(E)::GFP was found to accumulate at the septal membrane, a location where its processing apparatus would be susceptible to triggering from the adjoining forespore.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4888-4893
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Volume179
Issue number15
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology

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