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Keywords:

  • Competence;
  • ComK;
  • AbrB;
  • Rok;
  • CodY;
  • DegU

Abstract

Genetic competence is a differentiation process initiated by Bacillus subtilis as a result of nutritional deprivation, and is controlled by a complex signal transduction cascade. The promoter of comK, encoding the competence transcription factor, is regulated by at least four different transcription factors: Rok, CodY, DegU and ComK itself. Genetic data have shown that comK expression is influenced by the transition state regulator AbrB as well. In this paper we show that AbrB binds specifically to the comK promoter and covers the RNA polymerase binding site, making it the fifth transcription factor regulating the activity of the comK promoter.