1887

Abstract

The alternative sigma factor ComX is a key regulator of natural transformation in members of the genus . ComX controls expression of the late competence genes, which are essential for DNA binding, uptake and recombination. In , it has been demonstrated that ComX is degraded by ClpEP at the end of the competence period. In the present study we show that a different Clp protease complex, ClpCP, contributes to ComX degradation in Mutant strains lacking the ClpC chaperone displayed significantly increased transformability compared with the wild-type strain under conditions where ComX was expressed at relatively low levels. At higher expression levels, ClpCP appears to become saturated and unable to prevent the accumulation of ComX. Together, our results suggest that the role of ClpC is to mediate degradation of ComX when the sigma factor is produced in low amounts, i.e. when the environmental stimulus promoting competence development is weak. This would prevent from developing the competent state at an inappropriate time and/or place.

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2011-06-01
2019-10-22
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