Modification of GerQ Reveals a Functional Relationship between Tgl and YabG in the Coat of Bacillus subtilis Spores

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Here we describe the functional relationship between YabG and transglutaminase (Tgl), enzymes that modify the spore coat proteins of Bacillus subtilis. In wild-type spores at 37°C, Tgl mediates the crosslinking of GerQ into higher molecular mass forms; however, some GerQ multimers are found in tgl mutant spores, indicating that Tgl is not essential. Immunoblotting showed that spores isolated from a yabG mutant after sporulation at 37°C contain only very low levels of GerQ multimers. Heat treatment for 20 min at 60°C, which maximally activates the enzymatic activity of Tgl, caused crosslinking of GerQ in isolated yabG spores but not in tgl/yabG double-mutant spores. In addition, the germination frequency of the tgl/yabG spores in the presence of L-alanine with or without heat activation at 60°C was lower than that of wild-type spores. These findings suggest that Tgl cooperates with YabG to mediate the temperature-dependent modification of the coat proteins, a process associated with spore germination in B. subtilis.

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