Chromosomal tetA(L) gene of Bacillus subtilis: Regulation of expression and physiology of a tetA(L) deletion strain

Jianbo Cheng, Arthur A. Guffanti, Wei Wang, Terry A. Krulwich, David H. Bechhofer

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Deletion of the tetA(L) chromosomal region of Bacillus subtilis in a strain designated JC112 increased the strain's sensitivity to low tetracycline concentrations. It also resulted in phenotypic changes that correlate with the previously found role of TetA(L) in mediating electrogenic Na+/H+ antiport. Growth of JC112 was impaired relative to that of the wild type at both pH 7.0 and 8.3; Na+- and K+-dependent pH homeostases were impaired at alkaline pH. The phenotype of JC112 was complemented by plasmid- borne tetA(L) and related tet(K) genes; the antiport activity conferred by the tet(K) gene had an apparently higher preference for K+ over Na+ than that conferred by tetA(L). The data were consistent with TetA(L) being the major Na+(K+)/H+ antiporter involved in pH homeostasis in B. subtilis as well as a significant Na+ extrusion system. The phenotype of JC112 was much more pronounced than that of an earlier transposition mutant, JC111, with a disruption in the putative tetA(L) promoter region. Northern (RNA) blot analysis of tetA(L) RNA from wild-type and JC111 strains revealed the same patterns. That JC111 nevertheless exhibited some Na+ and alkali sensitivity may be accounted for by disruption of regulatory features that, in the wild type, allow increased tetA(L) expression under specific conditions of pH and monovalent cation concentration. Evidence for several different regulatory effects emerged from studies of lacZ expression from the transposon of JC111 and from a tetA(L)-lacZ translational fusion introduced into the amyE locus of wild-type and JC112 strains.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2853-2860
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 1996
Externally publishedYes


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