A gene, encoding a protein homologous to an essential protein, FtsH, was identified adjacent to the gene and the operon in the Gram-positive bacterium The deduced amino acid sequence of the gene product showed full-length similarity to FtsH of , Yme1p of cerevisiae and a conserved region found in a new family of putative ATPases. In-frame fusions of and in , and immunodetection of the FtsH protein in cell fractions using anti- FtsH serum showed that was expressed and encodes a membrane protein. When contained on a high copy number plasmid, the gene complemented the lethality of a δ:: mutation in at 37 °C and below, indicating that the gene can functionally replace the gene to some extent. The resulting strain showed temperature sensitivity and salt sensitivity. A mutant with an insertion into was salt-, heat- and cold-sensitive. These results suggest that FtsH is somehow involved in stress responses. Southern hybridization analysis indicated that genes homologous to of were also present in , and several and species, suggesting high conservation of in bacterial species.


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