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CotM of Bacillus subtilis, a member of the alpha-crystallin family of stress proteins, is induced during development and participates in spore outer coat formation.


ABSTRACT: We cloned and characterized a gene, cotM, that resides in the 173 degrees region of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome and is involved in spore outer coat assembly. We found that expression of the cotM gene is induced during development under sigma K control and is negatively regulated by the GerE transcription factor. Disruption of the cotM gene resulted in spores with an abnormal pattern of coat proteins. Electron microscopy revealed that the outer coat in cotM mutant spores had lost its multilayered type of organization, presenting a diffuse appearance. In particular, significant amounts of material were absent from the outer coat layers, which in some areas had a lamellar structure more typical of the inner coat. Occasionally, a pattern of closely spaced ridges protruding from its surface was observed. No deficiency associated with the inner coat or any other spore structure was found. CotM is related to the alpha-crystallin family of low-molecular-weight heat shock proteins, members of which can be substrates for transglutaminase-mediated protein cross-linking. CotM was not detected among the extractable spore coat proteins. These observations are consistent with a model according to which CotM is part of a cross-linked insoluble skeleton that surrounds the spore, serves as a matrix for the assembly of additional outer coat material, and confers structural stability to the final structure.

SUBMITTER: Henriques AO 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC178911 | BioStudies | 1997-01-01T00:00:00Z

SECONDARY ACCESSION(S): M11180

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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