HPr, the phosphocarrier protein of the bacterial phosphotransferase system, mediates catabolite repression of a number of operons in gram-positive bacteria. In order to participate in the regulatory process, HPr is activated by phosphorylation of a conserved serine-46 residue. To study the potential role of HPr in the regulation of Cry4A protoxin synthesis in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. israelensis, we produced a catabolite repression- negative mutant by replacing the wild-type copy of the ptsH gene with a mutated copy in which the conserved serine residue of HPr was replaced with an alanine. HPr isolated from the mutant strain was not phosphorylated at Ser-45 by HPr kinase, but phosphorylation at His-14 was found to occur normally. The enzyme I and HPr kinase activities of the mutant were not affected. Analysis of the B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis mutant harboringptsH-S45A in the chromosome showed that cry4A expression was derepressed from the inhibitory effect of glucose. The mutant strain produced both cry4A and σ35 gene transcripts 4 h ahead of the parent strain, but there was no effect on σ28 synthesis. In wild-type B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis cells, cry4A mRNA was observed from 12 h onwards, while in the mutant it appeared at 8 h and was produced for a longer period. The total amount of cry4A transcripts produced by the mutant was higher than by the parent strain. There was a 60 to 70% reduction in the sporulation efficiency of the mutant B. thuringiensis subsp. israelensis strain compared to the wild-type strain.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology