Coexpression patterns of σB regulators in Bacillus subtilis affect σB inducibility

Shuyu Zhang, Adam Reeves, Robyn L. Woodbury, W. G. Haldenwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


RsbT is an essential component of the pathway that activates the Bacillus subtilis σB transcription factor in response to physical stress. rsbT is located within an operon that includes the genes for its principal negative regulator (RsbS) and the stress pathway component that it activates (RsbU), as immediate upstream and downstream neighbors. In the current work we demonstrate that RsbT's ability to function is strongly influenced by coexpression with these adjoining genes. When rsbT is expressed at a site displaced from rsbS and rsbU, RsbT accumulates but it is unable to activate σB following stress. RsbT activity is restored if rsbT is cotranscribed at the alternative site with the genes that normally abut it. Additionally, an rsbS allele whose product allows constitutively high RsbT-dependent σB activity displays this activity in rsbS merodiploid strains only when cotranscribed with rsbT and is recessive to a wild-type rsbS allele only if the wild-type rsbS gene is not cotranscribed with an rsbT gene of its own. The data suggest that RsbS and RsbT are synthesized in equivalent amounts and interact coincidently with their synthesis to form stable regulatory complexes that maintain RsbT in a state from which it can be stress activated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8520-8525
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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