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Chapter 51 : spo0 Genes, the Phosphorelay, and the Initiation of Sporulation

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Abstract:

The cell responds to signals which it continually monitors in the environment, and when these environmental signals reach a point that indicates it is time to shut down division and begin sporulation, the initiation process begins. The signal transduction system, the phosphorelay, for the initiation of sporulation in revolves around the transcription factor Spo0A. This chapter discusses the genetic and chemical structure of the loci and their products, along with other components of the signal transduction system, and try to provide an historic and mechanistic perspective of the phosphorelay and the function of the Spo0A transcription factor. The role of the phosphorelay is to produce Spo0A-P, the activated form of the transcription factor responsible for transcription of genes involved in the initial stages of sporulation. The multiple points of control of the flow of phosphate through the phosphorelay begin with the kinases, KinA and KinB. The possibility exists that KinA might not be subject to activation by an effector ligand acting as a signal from the environment, but rather KinA might be functionally inactive in autophosphorylation in the absence of Spo0F. This would place responsibility for the initiation of phosphate flow in the phosphorelay on transcriptional control of the gene. It seems possible that one role of increased Spo0A~-P concentration during the initial stages of sporulation might be to prevent reinitiation of chromosome replication, which could be accomplished by preventing transcription and/or binding at the origin to inhibit the reinitiation of DNA replication.

Citation: Hoch J. 1993. spo0 Genes, the Phosphorelay, and the Initiation of Sporulation, p 747-755. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch51

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Figures

Image of Figure 1
Figure 1

Structure of the and genes. The complete transcription unit for each gene is shown. The numbers in each box are the molecular weights of the gene products. P or Pv indicates the start site of a vegetative promoter, whereas Ps indicates the location of a sporulation (σ) dependent promoter. Vertical lines in promoters indicate sites of 0A boxes, and an X indicates the approximate location of AbrB binding sites. Terminators are shown by a T.

Citation: Hoch J. 1993. spo0 Genes, the Phosphorelay, and the Initiation of Sporulation, p 747-755. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch51
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Image of Figure 2
Figure 2

The phosphorelay . phosphorylation in the presence of ATP and mediates the transfer of phosphate to both the SpoOA and SpoOF response regulator proteins ( ). In vivo, however, its activity is probably confined to the SpoOF protein. Former names for this locus include and . The locus is located at 118° on the genetic map.

Citation: Hoch J. 1993. spo0 Genes, the Phosphorelay, and the Initiation of Sporulation, p 747-755. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch51
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Image of Figure 3
Figure 3

Spo0A binding sites in promoters. The underlined regions are the extent of Spo0A protection from DNase I treatment in footprint experiments. Double-overlined regions designate OA boxes that are equal or close to the consensus site, TGNCGAA. Ps and Pv are sporulation (σ) dependent and vegetative (σ) dependent promoters, respectively.

Citation: Hoch J. 1993. spo0 Genes, the Phosphorelay, and the Initiation of Sporulation, p 747-755. In Sonenshein A, Hoch J, Losick R (ed), and Other Gram-Positive Bacteria. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555818388.ch51
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References

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