Regulation of peptide antibiotic production in Bacillus

M. A. Marahier, M. M. Nakano, P. Zuber

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


In Bacillus species, starvation leads to the activation of a number of processes that affect the ability to survive during periods of nutritional stress. Activities that are induced include the development of genetic competence, sporulation, the synthesis of degradative enzymes, motility, and antibiotic production. The genes that function in these processes are activated during the transition from exponential to stationary phase and are controlled by mechanisms that operate primarily at the level of transcription initiation. One class of genes functions in the synthesis of special metabolites such as the peptide antibiotics tyrocidine and gramicidin S as well as the cyclic lipopeptide surfactin. These genes include the grs and tyc operons in Bacillus brevis, which encode gramicidin S synthetase and tyrocidine synthetase, respectively, and the srfA operon of Bacillus subtilis which encodes the enzymes of the surfactin synthetase complex. Peptide antibiotic biosynthesis genes are regulated by factors as diverse as the early sporulation gene product Spo0A, the transition‐state regulator AbrB, and gene products (ComA, ComP, and ComQ) required for the initiation of the competence developmental pathway.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)631-636
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


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