Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet


Processing of a membrane protein required for cell-to-cell signaling during endospore formation in Bacillus subtilis

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Activation of the late prespore-specific RNA polymerase sigma factor σG during Bacillus subtilis sporulation coincides with completion of the engulfment process, when the prespore becomes a protoplast fully surrounded by the mother cell cytoplasm and separated from it by a double membrane system. Activation of σG also requires expression of spoIIIJ, coding for a membrane protein translocase of the YidC/Oxa1p/Alb3 family, and of the mother cell-specific spoIIIA operon. Here we present genetic and biochemical evidence indicating that SpoIIIAE, the product of one of the spoIIIA cistrons, and SpoIIIJ interact in the membrane, thereby linking the function of the spoIIIJ and spoIIIA loci in the activation of σG. We also show that SpoIIIAE has a functional Sec-type signal peptide, which is cleaved during sporulation. Furthermore, mutations that reduce or eliminate processing of the SpoIIIAE signal peptide arrest sporulation following engulfment completion and prevent activation of σG. SpoIIIJ-type proteins can function in cooperation with or independently of the Sec system. In one model, SpoIIIJ interacts with SpoIIIAE in the context of the Sec translocon to promote its correct localization and/or topology in the membrane, so that it can signal the activation of σG following engulfment completion.

TidsskriftJournal of Bacteriology
Udgave nummer23
Sider (fra-til)7786-7796
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - dec. 2008
Eksternt udgivetJa

ID: 174177297