Bacillus subtilisCinA is a stationary phase-induced protein that localizes to the nucleoid and plays a minor role in competent cells

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CinA is a conserved bacterial protein that has been reported to play an important role during competence in Streptococcus pneumoniae by recruiting the RecA protein to the cell membrane. Here, we provide information on the homologous CinA in Bacillus subtilis. We found that the synthesis of CinA is upregulated during stationary phase in all cells. The loss of CinA has a mild effect during competence, but it has no influence on the localization of RecA. CinA was observed to be associated with the nucleoid in the cell, and not with the cell membrane, as shown for S. pneumoniae. Purified CinA is a soluble protein, probably forming trimers, like other homologues, which share a domain with CinA that has been reported to be involved in molybdopterine biosynthesis. Our results suggest that CinA plays a nucleoid-associated general role in cells entering stationary phase that is not specific to competence in B. subtilis and possibly in many other bacteria.

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