Analysis of alkali-inducible genes of Bacillus subtilis
- Using the DNA macroarray technique, it could be shown that more than 80 genes induced after alkali shock (Wiegert et al., 2001). While most of them are under the control of the alternative sigma factor (sigmaW), the remaining genes are under the control of one or more unknown regulator(s). By their signature, two of them kipR and yvdT code for regulatory proteins, while pspA, member of the sigmaW regulon, encodes another potential regulator. In this doctoral work, the genes kipR, yvd and pspA were analyzed. The kipR and yvdT genes code for a transcriptional regulator of the IcIR and TetR/AcrR family while the pspA encode a transcriptional anti-activator in E. coli . In Northern blot analyses, it could be shown that all three genes are induced after alkali shock. The transcription start points of the kipR and yvdT genes were identified by primer extension experiments, and it appeared that the transcription is dependent on a vegetative sigma A-like promoter. To identify genes which are under the negative control of the transcriptional anti-activator PspA, a DNA macroarray experiment was carried out. It turned out that several genes are repressed by a factor of at least three under conditions of PspA overproduction. By using the Far-western blot technique, a protein which might interact with the PspA protein was identified. This protein has a molecular weight approximately 50 kDa. In addition, expression of the pst operon ( pst stay for phosphate-specific transport) was analyzed which is induced after phosphate starvation and after alkaline shock. The genes of this operon are involved in the phosphate transport into the cytoplasma. By Northern-blot experiments, it could be shown that all genes of this operon are alkali-inducible. When the transcriptional start point was determined by primer extension, it turned out to be identical to the one determined under phosphate limitation. This transcription start point is preceded by a typical sigmaA-type promoter. Furthermore, alkali-induction is dependent on the PhoP-PhoR two-component signal transduction system. Phosphate-uptake experiments revealed that the uptake of inorganic phosphate was completely abolished after increasing the external pH value.