A novel RNA polymerase-binding protein controlling genes involved in spore germination inBacillus subtilis

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A growing class of proteins regulates transcription through interaction with DNA-dependent RNA polymerase. Here we report that a recently identified, highly conserved sporulation geneylyAencodes a novel RNA polymerase-binding protein that influences the expression of genes under the control of the late-acting, sporulation sigma factor σG inBacillus subtilis.Spores from aylyAmutant exhibited defects in germination corresponding to changes in the levels of membrane receptors for spore germinants and a protein channel governing the release of dipicolinic acid and hydration of the spore core during germination. Purified YlyA interacted with RNA polymerase and stimulated transcription from promoters dependent on σG but not promoters dependent on the housekeeping sigma factor σA. YlyA is a previously unrecognized RNA polymerase-binding protein that is dedicated to modulating the expression of genes involved in spore germination.

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