Spx is a global transcriptional regulator of the oxidative stress response in Bacillus subtilis. Its target is RNA polymerase, where it contacts the α subunit C-terminal domain. Recently, evidence was presented that Spx participates in sulfate-dependent control of organosulfur utilization operons, including the ytmI, yxeI, ssu, and yrrT operons. The yrrT operon includes the genes that function in cysteine synthesis from S-adenosylmethionine through intermediates S-adenosylhomocysteine, ribosylhomocysteine, homocysteine, and cystathionine. These operons are also negatively controlled by CymR, the repressor of cysteine biosynthesis operons. All of the operons are repressed in media containing cysteine or sulfate but are derepressed in medium containing the alternative sulfur source, methionine. Spx was found to negatively control the expression of these operons in sulfate medium, in part, by stimulating the expression of the cymR gene. In addition, microarray analysis, monitoring of yrrT-lacZ fusion expression, and in vitro transcription studies indicate that Spx directly activates yrrT operon expression during growth in medium containing methionine as sole sulfur source. These experiments have uncovered additional roles for Spx in the control of gene expression during unperturbed, steady-state growth.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology