Exchange of precursor-specific elements between pro-σE and pro-σK of Bacillus subtilis

Helene C. Carlson, Sijie Lu, Lee Kroos, William G. Haldenwang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


σE and σK are sporulation-specific σ factors of Bacillus subtilis that are synthesized as inactive proproteins. Pro-σE and pro-σK are activated by the removal of 27 and 20 amino acids, respectively, from their amino termini. To explore the properties of the precursor-specific sequences, we exchanged the coding elements for these domains in the σE and σK structural genes and determined the properties of the resulting chimeric proteins in B. subtilis. The pro-σEK chimera accumulated and was cleaved into active σK, while the pro-σKE fusion protein failed to accumulate and is likely unstable in B. subtilis. A fusion of the sigE "pro" sequence to an unrelated protein (bovine rhodanese) also formed a protein that was cleaved by the pro-σE processing apparatus. The data suggest that the σE pro sequence contains sufficient information for pro-σE processing as well as a unique quality needed for σE accumulation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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