Using an immunological probe, we have determined that the synthesis of the Bacillus subtilis RNA polymerase promoter specificity determinant σ29 is a developmentally regulated event. σ29 is absent from vegetatively growing cells but is abundant in sporulating cells for a restricted (2-h) period during differentiation (hour 2 to hour 4 into the sporeforming process). The narrowness of this period suggests that σ29 is a regulatory factor that directs the transcription of a subpopulation of genes at a precise, intermediate stage of spore formation. This view predicts that σ29 should be dispensable for early sporulation events. We verified this prediction by an analysis of σ29 accumulation in mutants that are blocked at different stages of sporulation in which we show that cells can advance to at least an intermediate point in development (stage III) in the absence of detectable σ29. Lastly, our anti-σ29 antibody probe detected a second, previously unrecognized protein in Bacillus cell extracts that may be a precursor to σ29. This protein, P31 (molecular weight, 31,000) is synthesized earlier in sporulation than is σ29. It has a peptide profile that is similar to σ29 and is present in all Bacillus subtilis Spo- mutants that were tested and found to still be able to accumulate σ29.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of bacteriology|
|State||Published - 1985|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology