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devRS, an autoregulated and essential genetic locus for fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus


devRS, an autoregulated and essential genetic locus for fruiting body development in Myxococcus xanthus



Journal of Bacteriology 175(22): 7450-7462



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-9193

PMID: 7693658

Two Tn5 lac insertions into the Myxococcus genome at sites OMEGA-4414 and OMEGA-4473, which are separated by 550 nucleotides, inactivate fruiting body development. Sporulation is decreased 100- to 10,000-fold. At least two genes, devR and devS, are transcribed in this region, probably as an operon. Expression of devR begins by 6 h after starvation has initiated development. On the basis of their nucleotide sequences, devR and devS are expected to encode proteins of 302 and 214 amino acids, respectively. Dev+ function can be restored by a segment of 7.8 kb cloned from the devRS region of wild-type cells. Two experiments show that devR expression is under strong negative autoregulation. beta-Galactosidase is expressed at a higher level from a transcriptional devR::lacZ fusion when the fused operon is in a dev strain than when it is in the dev/dev+ genetic background of a partial diploid. There is more mRNA accumulation from the devRS region in the dev strain than in a rescued dev/dev+ tandem duplication strain. Sporulation rescue is correlated with some degree of negative autoregulation, even though sporulation is not inversely proportional to beta-galactosidase expression from OMEGA-4414. A second level of regulation is suggested by complementation of dev by dev+ in duplication strains. The expression of devRS, measured by sporulation levels, differs 1,000-fold when devRS+ is moved from a distance of 20 kb to 3 Mb from the mutant devRS locus. Expression of devR is also dependent on the cell density at which development is initiated, a third level of regulation. Multiple levels of regulation suggest that devRS is a switch required to activate completion of aggregation and sporulation.

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Accession: 008450090

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