1887

Abstract

Bacillithiol is the major low molecular mass thiol produced by many firmicutes bacteria, including the model organism and pathogens such as and . We have previously shown that four genes (, , and ) are involved in bacillithiol biosynthesis. Here, we report that these four genes are encoded within three, unlinked operons all expressed from canonical σ-dependent promoters as determined by 5′RACE (rapid amplification of cDNA ends). The and genes are embedded within a seven-gene operon additionally including , encoding methylglyoxal synthase, and the essential genes and , encoding tRNA nucleotidyltransferase (CCA transferase) and biotin-protein ligase, respectively. The gene is co-transcribed with unknown function genes, while is expressed both as part of a two-gene operon (with the upstream putative pantothenate biosynthesis gene ) and from its own promoter. All three operons are expressed at a reduced level in an null mutant, consistent with a direct role of Spx as a transcriptional activator for these operons, and all three operons are induced by the thiol oxidant diamide. In contrast with other Spx-regulated genes characterized to date, the effects of Spx on basal expression and diamide-stimulated expression appear to be independent of Cys10 in the redox centre of Spx. Consistent with the role of Spx as an activator of bacillithiol biosynthetic genes, cellular levels of bacillithiol are reduced several-fold in an null mutant.

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2013-10-01
2019-10-14
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