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Categories containing this gene/protein

transition state regulators

This gene is a member of the following regulons

AbrB regulon, Spo0A regulon

The AbrB regulon


  • Coordinates on the chromosome (coding sequence): 44,848 -> 45,138
  • Phenotypes of a mutant

  • No swarming motility on B medium PubMed
  • The protein

    Catalyzed reaction/ biological activity

    Protein family

    Paralogous protein(s)

  • Abh, SpoVT (only N-terminal domain)
  • Kinetic information



  • phosphorylated on Ser-86 PubMed by PrkC, PrkD, and YabT results in loss of DNA-binding activity PubMed
  • Cofactors

    Effectors of protein activity

  • interaction with AbbA results in inactivation of AbrB PubMed
  • Structure

  • 1Z0R (N-terminal DNA recognition domain), PubMed
  • 2MJG (full-length protein) PubMed
  • Localization


  • AbbA-AbrB, AbbA binds the N-terminal DNA-binding domain of AbrB PubMed
  • AbrB-AbrB PubMed
  • AbrB-Abh PubMed
  • AbrB-PrkC PubMed
  • AbrB-PrkD PubMed
  • AbrB-YabT PubMed
  • RnaC-mRNA of abrB to trigger degradation of the abrB mRNA PubMed
  • Additional information

    Expression and Regulation


  • abrB PubMed
  • Sigma factor

  • SigA PubMed
  • Regulation

  • expressed at the onset of stationary phase PubMed
  • repressed under conditions that trigger sporulation (Spo0A) PubMed
  • repressed during logrithmic growth (AbrB) PubMed
  • expression is highly heterogeous in a population (RnaC) PubMed
  • Regulatory mechanism

  • repressed by Spo0A-P PubMed
  • Spo0A: transcription repression PubMed
  • AbrB: transcription repression PubMed
  • Additional information

  • degradation of the abrB mRNA is triggered by base-pairing with RnaC PubMed
  • Biological materials


  • TT731 (aphA3)
  • 1A935 (abrB::cat), PubMed, available at BGSC
  • GP1548 (abrB::ermC), available in Stülke lab
  • Expression vector

    lacZ fusion

    GFP fusion

    two-hybrid system

  • B. pertussis adenylate cyclase-based bacterial two hybrid system (BACTH), available in Stülke lab
  • FLAG-tag construct


    Labs working on this gene/protein

  • Richard Losick, Harvard Univ., Cambridge, USA homepage
  • Mark Strauch, Baltimore, USA homepage
  • References


    Schultz D, Wolynes PG, Ben Jacob E, Onuchic JN

    Deciding fate in adverse times: sporulation and competence in Bacillus subtilis

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Dec 15;106(50):21027-34. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0912185106. Epub 2009 Dec 7. PubMed PMID: 19995980; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2795487.
    Hamze K, Julkowska D, Autret S, Hinc K, Nagorska K, Sekowska A, Holland IB, Séror SJ

    Identification of genes required for different stages of dendritic swarming in Bacillus subtilis, with a novel role for phrC

    Microbiology. 2009 Feb;155(Pt 2):398-412. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.021477-0. PubMed PMID: 19202088.
    Nagórska K, Hinc K, Strauch MA, Obuchowski M

    Influence of the sigmaB stress factor and yxaB, the gene for a putative exopolysaccharide synthase under sigmaB Control, on biofilm formation

    J Bacteriol. 2008 May;190(10):3546-56. doi: 10.1128/JB.01665-07. Epub 2008 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 18326573; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2394996.
    Phillips ZE, Strauch MA

    Bacillus subtilis sporulation and stationary phase gene expression

    Cell Mol Life Sci. 2002 Mar;59(3):392-402. Review. PubMed PMID: 11964117.
    Klein W, Marahiel MA

    Structure-function relationship and regulation of two Bacillus subtilis DNA-binding proteins, HBsu and AbrB

    J Mol Microbiol Biotechnol. 2002 May;4(3):323-9. Review. PubMed PMID: 11931565.

    The AbrB regulon:

    Chumsakul O, Nakamura K, Kurata T, Sakamoto T, Hobman JL, Ogasawara N, Oshima T, Ishikawa S

    High-resolution mapping of in vivo genomic transcription factor binding sites using in situ DNase I footprinting and ChIP-seq

    DNA Res. 2013 Aug;20(4):325-38. doi: 10.1093/dnares/dst013. Epub 2013 Apr 11. PubMed PMID: 23580539; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3738160.
    Chumsakul O, Takahashi H, Oshima T, Hishimoto T, Kanaya S, Ogasawara N, Ishikawa S

    Genome-wide binding profiles of the Bacillus subtilis transition state regulator AbrB and its homolog Abh reveals their interactive role in transcriptional regulation

    Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jan;39(2):414-28. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkq780. Epub 2010 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 20817675; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3025583.
    Banse AV, Chastanet A, Rahn-Lee L, Hobbs EC, Losick R

    Parallel pathways of repression and antirepression governing the transition to stationary phase in Bacillus subtilis

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Oct 7;105(40):15547-52. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0805203105. PubMed PMID: 18840696; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2563134.

    Other original publications

    Mars RA, Nicolas P, Ciccolini M, Reilman E, Reder A, Schaffer M, Mäder U, Völker U, van Dijl JM, Denham EL

    Small regulatory RNA-induced growth rate heterogeneity of Bacillus subtilis

    PLoS Genet. 2015 Mar 19;11(3):e1005046. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1005046. eCollection 2015 Mar. PubMed PMID: 25790031; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4366234.
    Bochmann SM, Spieß T, Kötter P, Entian KD

    Synthesis and succinylation of subtilin-like lantibiotics are strongly influenced by glucose and transition state regulator AbrB

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Jan;81(2):614-22. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02579-14. Epub 2014 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 25381239; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4277571.
    Olson AL, Tucker AT, Bobay BG, Soderblom EJ, Moseley MA, Thompson RJ, Cavanagh J

    Structure and DNA-binding traits of the transition state regulator AbrB

    Structure. 2014 Nov 4;22(11):1650-6. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2014.08.018. Epub 2014 Oct 9. PubMed PMID: 25308864; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4252516.
    Lozano Goné AM, Dinorín Téllez Girón J, Jiménez Montejo FE, Hidalgo-Lara ME, López Y López VE

    Behavior of transition state regulator AbrB in batch cultures of Bacillus thuringiensis

    Curr Microbiol. 2014 Nov;69(5):725-32. doi: 10.1007/s00284-014-0650-4. Epub 2014 Jul 8. PubMed PMID: 25002359.
    Neubauer S, Dolgova O, Präg G, Borriss R, Makarewicz O

    Substitutional analysis of the C-terminal domain of AbrB revealed its essential role in DNA-binding activity

    PLoS One. 2014 May 15;9(5):e97254. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0097254. eCollection 2014. PubMed PMID: 24832089; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4022651.
    Kobir A, Poncet S, Bidnenko V, Delumeau O, Jers C, Zouhir S, Grenha R, Nessler S, Noirot P, Mijakovic I

    Phosphorylation of Bacillus subtilis gene regulator AbrB modulates its DNA-binding properties

    Mol Microbiol. 2014 Jun;92(5):1129-41. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12617. Epub 2014 Apr 29. PubMed PMID: 24731262.
    Tucker AT, Bobay BG, Banse AV, Olson AL, Soderblom EJ, Moseley MA, Thompson RJ, Varney KM, Losick R, Cavanagh J

    A DNA mimic: the structure and mechanism of action for the anti-repressor protein AbbA

    J Mol Biol. 2014 May 1;426(9):1911-24. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2014.02.010. Epub 2014 Feb 15. PubMed PMID: 24534728; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4017629.
    Soufi B, Kumar C, Gnad F, Mann M, Mijakovic I, Macek B

    Stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) applied to quantitative proteomics of Bacillus subtilis

    J Proteome Res. 2010 Jul 2;9(7):3638-46. doi: 10.1021/pr100150w. PubMed PMID: 20509597.
    Seredick SD, Seredick BM, Baker D, Spiegelman GB

    An A257V mutation in the bacillus subtilis response regulator Spo0A prevents regulated expression of promoters with low-consensus binding sites

    J Bacteriol. 2009 Sep;191(17):5489-98. doi: 10.1128/JB.00590-09. Epub 2009 Jul 6. PubMed PMID: 19581368; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2725607.
    Luo Y, Helmann JD

    Extracytoplasmic function sigma factors with overlapping promoter specificity regulate sublancin production in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2009 Aug;191(15):4951-8. doi: 10.1128/JB.00549-09. Epub 2009 May 22. PubMed PMID: 19465659; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2715738.
    Hamze K, Julkowska D, Autret S, Hinc K, Nagorska K, Sekowska A, Holland IB, Séror SJ

    Identification of genes required for different stages of dendritic swarming in Bacillus subtilis, with a novel role for phrC

    Microbiology. 2009 Feb;155(Pt 2):398-412. doi: 10.1099/mic.0.021477-0. PubMed PMID: 19202088.
    Chu F, Kearns DB, McLoon A, Chai Y, Kolter R, Losick R

    A novel regulatory protein governing biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2008 Jun;68(5):1117-27. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06201.x. Epub 2008 Apr 21. PubMed PMID: 18430133; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2430766.
    Nagórska K, Hinc K, Strauch MA, Obuchowski M

    Influence of the sigmaB stress factor and yxaB, the gene for a putative exopolysaccharide synthase under sigmaB Control, on biofilm formation

    J Bacteriol. 2008 May;190(10):3546-56. doi: 10.1128/JB.01665-07. Epub 2008 Mar 7. PubMed PMID: 18326573; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2394996.
    Strauch MA, Bobay BG, Cavanagh J, Yao F, Wilson A, Le Breton Y

    Abh and AbrB control of Bacillus subtilis antimicrobial gene expression

    J Bacteriol. 2007 Nov;189(21):7720-32. Epub 2007 Aug 24. PubMed PMID: 17720793; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2168746.
    Jordan S, Rietkötter E, Strauch MA, Kalamorz F, Butcher BG, Helmann JD, Mascher T

    LiaRS-dependent gene expression is embedded in transition state regulation in Bacillus subtilis

    Microbiology. 2007 Aug;153(Pt 8):2530-40. PubMed PMID: 17660417.
    Bobay BG, Mueller GA, Thompson RJ, Murzin AG, Venters RA, Strauch MA, Cavanagh J

    NMR structure of AbhN and comparison with AbrBN: FIRST insights into the DNA binding promiscuity and specificity of AbrB-like transition state regulator proteins

    J Biol Chem. 2006 Jul 28;281(30):21399-409. Epub 2006 May 15. PubMed PMID: 16702211; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1761137.
    Bobay BG, Andreeva A, Mueller GA, Cavanagh J, Murzin AG

    Revised structure of the AbrB N-terminal domain unifies a diverse superfamily of putative DNA-binding proteins

    FEBS Lett. 2005 Oct 24;579(25):5669-74. Epub 2005 Oct 4. PubMed PMID: 16223496.
    Yao F, Strauch MA

    Independent and interchangeable multimerization domains of the AbrB, Abh, and SpoVT global regulatory proteins

    J Bacteriol. 2005 Sep;187(18):6354-62. Erratum in: J Bacteriol. 2005 Nov;187(21):7546. PubMed PMID: 16159768; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1236651.
    Fujita M, González-Pastor JE, Losick R

    High- and low-threshold genes in the Spo0A regulon of Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2005 Feb;187(4):1357-68. PubMed PMID: 15687200; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC545642.
    Bobay BG, Benson L, Naylor S, Feeney B, Clark AC, Goshe MB, Strauch MA, Thompson R, Cavanagh J

    Evaluation of the DNA binding tendencies of the transition state regulator AbrB

    Biochemistry. 2004 Dec 28;43(51):16106-18. PubMed PMID: 15610005.
    Hamon MA, Stanley NR, Britton RA, Grossman AD, Lazazzera BA

    Identification of AbrB-regulated genes involved in biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2004 May;52(3):847-60. PubMed PMID: 15101989; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1409746.
    Kim HJ, Kim SI, Ratnayake-Lecamwasam M, Tachikawa K, Sonenshein AL, Strauch M

    Complex regulation of the Bacillus subtilis aconitase gene

    J Bacteriol. 2003 Mar;185(5):1672-80. PubMed PMID: 12591885; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC148081.
    Hamoen LW, Kausche D, Marahiel MA, van Sinderen D, Venema G, Serror P

    The Bacillus subtilis transition state regulator AbrB binds to the -35 promoter region of comK

    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2003 Jan 28;218(2):299-304. PubMed PMID: 12586407.
    Benson LM, Vaughn JL, Strauch MA, Bobay BG, Thompson R, Naylor S, Cavanagh J

    Macromolecular assembly of the transition state regulator AbrB in its unbound and complexed states probed by microelectrospray ionization mass spectrometry

    Anal Biochem. 2002 Jul 15;306(2):222-7. PubMed PMID: 12123659.
    Qian Q, Lee CY, Helmann JD, Strauch MA

    AbrB is a regulator of the sigma(W) regulon in Bacillus subtilis

    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Jun 4;211(2):219-23. PubMed PMID: 12076816.
    Shafikhani SH, Mandic-Mulec I, Strauch MA, Smith I, Leighton T

    Postexponential regulation of sin operon expression in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2002 Jan;184(2):564-71. PubMed PMID: 11751836; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC139554.
    Phillips ZE, Strauch MA

    Role of Cys54 in AbrB multimerization and DNA-binding activity

    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Sep 25;203(2):207-10. PubMed PMID: 11583849.
    Xu K, Strauch MA

    DNA-binding activity of amino-terminal domains of the Bacillus subtilis AbrB protein

    J Bacteriol. 2001 Jul;183(13):4094-8. PubMed PMID: 11395475; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC95294.
    Gustafsson MC, von Wachenfeldt C

    A novel diffusible substance can overcome the apparent AbrB repression of the Bacillus subtilis fatR promoter

    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 May 30;199(2):197-202. PubMed PMID: 11377867.
    Vaughn JL, Feher V, Naylor S, Strauch MA, Cavanagh J

    Novel DNA binding domain and genetic regulation model of Bacillus subtilis transition state regulator abrB

    Nat Struct Biol. 2000 Dec;7(12):1139-46. Erratum in: Nat Struct Biol. 2005 Apr;12(4):380. PubMed PMID: 11101897.
    Hahn J, Luttinger A, Dubnau D

    Regulatory inputs for the synthesis of ComK, the competence transcription factor of Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 1996 Aug;21(4):763-75. PubMed PMID: 8878039.
    Xu K, Strauch MA

    In vitro selection of optimal AbrB-binding sites: comparison to known in vivo sites indicates flexibility in AbrB binding and recognition of three-dimensional DNA structures

    Mol Microbiol. 1996 Jan;19(1):145-58. PubMed PMID: 8821944.
    Xu K, Clark D, Strauch MA

    Analysis of abrB mutations, mutant proteins, and why abrB does not utilize a perfect consensus in the -35 region of its sigma A promoter

    J Biol Chem. 1996 Feb 2;271(5):2621-6. PubMed PMID: 8576231.
    Hahn J, Roggiani M, Dubnau D

    The major role of Spo0A in genetic competence is to downregulate abrB, an essential competence gene

    J Bacteriol. 1995 Jun;177(12):3601-5. PubMed PMID: 7768874; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC177070.
    Strauch MA

    AbrB modulates expression and catabolite repression of a Bacillus subtilis ribose transport operon

    J Bacteriol. 1995 Dec;177(23):6727-31. PubMed PMID: 7592460; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC177535.
    Perego M, Spiegelman GB, Hoch JA

    Structure of the gene for the transition state regulator, abrB: regulator synthesis is controlled by the spo0A sporulation gene in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 1988 Nov;2(6):689-99. PubMed PMID: 3145384.
    Robertson JB, Gocht M, Marahiel MA, Zuber P

    AbrB, a regulator of gene expression in Bacillus, interacts with the transcription initiation regions of a sporulation gene and an antibiotic biosynthesis gene

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Nov;86(21):8457-61. PubMed PMID: 2554317; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC298301.
    Strauch MA, Perego M, Burbulys D, Hoch JA

    The transition state transcription regulator AbrB of Bacillus subtilis is autoregulated during vegetative growth

    Mol Microbiol. 1989 Sep;3(9):1203-9. PubMed PMID: 2507867.
    Strauch MA, Spiegelman GB, Perego M, Johnson WC, Burbulys D, Hoch JA

    The transition state transcription regulator abrB of Bacillus subtilis is a DNA binding protein

    EMBO J. 1989 May;8(5):1615-21. PubMed PMID: 2504584; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC400994.
    Zuber P, Losick R

    Role of AbrB in Spo0A- and Spo0B-dependent utilization of a sporulation promoter in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 1987 May;169(5):2223-30. PubMed PMID: 2437099; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC212136.
    Strauch M, Webb V, Spiegelman G, Hoch JA

    The SpoOA protein of Bacillus subtilis is a repressor of the abrB gene

    Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1990 Mar;87(5):1801-5. PubMed PMID: 2106683; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC53571.
    Fürbass R, Marahiel MA

    Mutant analysis of interaction of the Bacillus subtilis transcription regulator AbrB with the antibiotic biosynthesis gene tycA

    FEBS Lett. 1991 Aug 5;287(1-2):153-6. PubMed PMID: 1908787.
    Fürbass R, Gocht M, Zuber P, Marahiel MA

    Interaction of AbrB, a transcriptional regulator from Bacillus subtilis with the promoters of the transition state-activated genes tycA and spoVG

    Mol Gen Genet. 1991 Mar;225(3):347-54. PubMed PMID: 1850083.
    Slack FJ, Mueller JP, Strauch MA, Mathiopoulos C, Sonenshein AL

    Transcriptional regulation of a Bacillus subtilis dipeptide transport operon

    Mol Microbiol. 1991 Aug;5(8):1915-25. PubMed PMID: 1766371.
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