SUMMARY: A 5.4 kb III fragment of subsp. was identified using a homologous probe generated by PCR and cloned in Upstream sequences were generated by inverse PCR. The two cloned fragments partially overlapped, and sequencing of 5915 bp revealed the presence of four open reading frames in the order encodes a 39 kDa protein of unknown function which shows considerable sequence homology with the Orf39 and Orfa proteins of and respectively. The downstream ORFs showed high homology to the and genes of other prokaryotes. The DnaK protein has a characteristic 24-amino-acid deletion exhibited by all the known DnaK proteins of Gram-positive species. In many bacteria the and genes are found as part of the same operon. The operon is unusual in that the gene is followed by a putative transcription terminator and a fourth large ORF which shares no homology with the genes of other bacteria but has a small degree of homology with various membrane proteins. Vegetative promoter sequences are found upstream of both and A 12 bp inverted repeat is found upstream of the putative promoter of and an 8 bp inverted repeat is found between this promoter and the initiation codon. These repeats are thought to be involved in regulation of the heat-shock genes. The DnaK homologue is induced approximately 3-fold on heat shock at 42 °C.


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