1887

Abstract

In , competence and bacteriocin genes are controlled by two two-component systems, ComED and BlpRH, respectively. In , both functions are controlled by the ComED system. Recent studies in revealed a potential ComE binding site characterized by two 11 bp direct repeats shared by each of the bacteriocin genes responsive to the competence-stimulating peptide (CSP). Interestingly, this sequence was not found in the upstream region of the CSP structural gene . Since is suggested to be part of a CSP-responsive and ComE-dependent autoregulatory loop, it was of interest to determine how it was possible that the ComED system could simultaneously regulate bacteriocin expression and natural competence. Using the intergenic region IGS1499, shared by the CSP-responsive bacteriocin and , it was demonstrated that both genes are likely to be regulated by a bifunctional ComE. In a null mutant, gene expression was increased similarly to a fully induced wild-type. In contrast, gene expression was nearly abolished. Deletion of ComD exerted a similar effect on both genes to that observed with the null mutation. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) with purified ComE revealed specific shift patterns dependent on the presence of one or both direct repeats in the promoter region. The two direct repeats were also required for the promoter activity of both and . These results suggest that gene regulation of in is fundamentally different from that reported for , which implicates a unique regulatory mechanism that allows the coordination of bacteriocin production with competence development.

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2007-06-01
2019-10-14
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