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Description: transcriptional activator (Xre family) of competence development and sporulation genes, represses SigD-dependent flagellar genes, antagonist of SlrA and SinR, has LexA-like autocleavage activity

Name: slrR
Locus: BSU34380BsubCyc
pI: 9.0
MW: 17.0 kDa
Protein length: 152 aaBLASTSequence
Gene length: 456 bpBLASTSequenceSequence + Flanks
Function: regulation of initiation of biofilm formation and of autolysis
Product: transcriptional regulator (Xre family), SlrA antagonist
Essential: no
E.C. number:
Synonyms: yveJ, slr
Databases: SubtiListKEGGUniProtExpression data browser

Categories containing this gene/protein

transcription factors and their control, transition state regulators, biofilm formation

This gene is a member of the following regulons

Abh regulon, AbrB regulon, SinR regulon

The SlrR regulon


  • Coordinates on the chromosome (coding sequence): 3,530,101 -> 3,530,559
  • Phenotypes of a mutant

  • smooth colonies on MsGG medium, no biofilm formation PubMed
  • The protein

    Catalyzed reaction/ biological activity

  • SlrR binds to and inhibits the activity of SlrA, SlrA indirectly stimulates the synthesis of SlrR by interacting with SinR. SlrR can bind to SinR and SinR directly represses the transcription of SlrR. SlrR indirectly derepresses its own gene. The heterocomplex of SlrR-SinR is a repressor of autolysin and motility genes and inhibits the repressor function of SinR. PubMed
  • repression of transcription of lytA-lytB-lytC and lytF PubMed
  • autocleavage PubMed
  • Protein family

  • Xre family
  • Paralogous protein(s)

  • SinR
  • Kinetic information



  • subject to self-cleavage via a LexA-like autopeptidase, this involves ClpC and requires DegU PubMed
  • Cofactors

    Effectors of protein activity

  • interaction with SinR triggers binding of SlrR to the promoters of lytA-lytB-lytC and lytF, resulting in their repression PubMed
  • Structure



  • SlrA-SlrR PubMed
  • SlrR-SinR PubMed, K(D) 47.5 nM PubMed, Veg may inhibit this interaction PubMed
  • Additional information

    Expression and Regulation


  • slrR PubMed
  • Sigma factor


    Regulatory mechanism

  • Abh: transcription activation PubMed
  • SinR: transcription repression PubMed
  • AbrB: transcription repression PubMed
  • Additional information

  • induction by sequestration of SinR by SinI, SlrA PubMed or by SlrR itself PubMed
  • the slrR gene is not expressed in a ymdB mutant PubMed
  • the amount of the mRNA is substantially decreased upon depletion of RNase Y (this is likely due to the increased stability of the sinR mRNA) PubMed
  • Biological materials


  • MGNA-A089 (slr::erm), available at the NBRP B. subtilis, Japan
  • GP955 (slrR-pnbA::cat), available in Jörg Stülke's lab
  • Expression vector

  • pGP2905: expression in E. coli, with N-terminal His-tag, in pWH844, available in Jörg Stülke' lab
  • lacZ fusion

    GFP fusion

    two-hybrid system

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


    Labs working on this gene/protein



    Cairns LS, Hobley L, Stanley-Wall NR

    Biofilm formation by Bacillus subtilis: new insights into regulatory strategies and assembly mechanisms

    Mol Microbiol. 2014 Aug;93(4):587-98. doi: 10.1111/mmi.12697. Epub 2014 Jul 18. Review. PubMed PMID: 24988880; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4238804.
    Vlamakis H, Chai Y, Beauregard P, Losick R, Kolter R

    Sticking together: building a biofilm the Bacillus subtilis way

    Nat Rev Microbiol. 2013 Mar;11(3):157-68. doi: 10.1038/nrmicro2960. Epub 2013 Jan 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 23353768; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3936787.
    Piggot P

    Epigenetic switching: bacteria hedge bets about staying or moving

    Curr Biol. 2010 Jun 8;20(11):R480-2. doi: 10.1016/j.cub.2010.04.020. PubMed PMID: 20541494.

    Original publications

    Ogura M

    Post-transcriptionally generated cell heterogeneity regulates biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    Genes Cells. 2016 Apr;21(4):335-49. doi: 10.1111/gtc.12343. Epub 2016 Jan 28. PubMed PMID: 26819068.
    Norman TM, Lord ND, Paulsson J, Losick R

    Memory and modularity in cell-fate decision making

    Nature. 2013 Nov 28;503(7477):481-6. doi: 10.1038/nature12804. Epub 2013 Nov 20. PubMed PMID: 24256735; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4019345.
    Newman JA, Rodrigues C, Lewis RJ

    Molecular basis of the activity of SinR protein, the master regulator of biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    J Biol Chem. 2013 Apr 12;288(15):10766-78. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M113.455592. Epub 2013 Feb 21. PubMed PMID: 23430750; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3624457.
    Lei Y, Oshima T, Ogasawara N, Ishikawa S

    Functional analysis of the protein Veg, which stimulates biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2013 Apr;195(8):1697-705. doi: 10.1128/JB.02201-12. Epub 2013 Feb 1. PubMed PMID: 23378512; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3624561.
    Cozy LM, Phillips AM, Calvo RA, Bate AR, Hsueh YH, Bonneau R, Eichenberger P, Kearns DB

    SlrA/SinR/SlrR inhibits motility gene expression upstream of a hypersensitive and hysteretic switch at the level of σ(D) in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2012 Mar;83(6):1210-28. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08003.x. Epub 2012 Feb 22. PubMed PMID: 22329926; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3303961.
    Pozsgai ER, Blair KM, Kearns DB

    Modified mariner transposons for random inducible-expression insertions and transcriptional reporter fusion insertions in Bacillus subtilis

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Feb;78(3):778-85. doi: 10.1128/AEM.07098-11. Epub 2011 Nov 23. PubMed PMID: 22113911; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3264109.
    Diethmaier C, Pietack N, Gunka K, Wrede C, Lehnik-Habrink M, Herzberg C, Hübner S, Stülke J

    A novel factor controlling bistability in Bacillus subtilis: the YmdB protein affects flagellin expression and biofilm formation

    J Bacteriol. 2011 Nov;193(21):5997-6007. doi: 10.1128/JB.05360-11. Epub 2011 Aug 19. PubMed PMID: 21856853; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3194898.
    Chai Y, Kolter R, Losick R

    Reversal of an epigenetic switch governing cell chaining in Bacillus subtilis by protein instability

    Mol Microbiol. 2010 Oct;78(1):218-29. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2010.07335.x. PubMed PMID: 20923420; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2998389.
    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.
    Chai Y, Norman T, Kolter R, Losick R

    An epigenetic switch governing daughter cell separation in Bacillus subtilis

    Genes Dev. 2010 Apr 15;24(8):754-65. doi: 10.1101/gad.1915010. Epub 2010 Mar 29. PubMed PMID: 20351052; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2854391.
    Chai Y, Kolter R, Losick R

    Paralogous antirepressors acting on the master regulator for biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2009 Nov;74(4):876-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2009.06900.x. Epub 2009 Sep 28. PubMed PMID: 19788541; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2805041.
    Murray EJ, Strauch MA, Stanley-Wall NR

    SigmaX is involved in controlling Bacillus subtilis biofilm architecture through the AbrB homologue Abh

    J Bacteriol. 2009 Nov;191(22):6822-32. doi: 10.1128/JB.00618-09. Epub 2009 Sep 18. PubMed PMID: 19767430; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2772499.
    Kobayashi K

    SlrR/SlrA controls the initiation of biofilm formation in Bacillus subtilis

    Mol Microbiol. 2008 Sep;69(6):1399-410. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06369.x. Epub 2008 Jul 18. PubMed PMID: 18647168.
    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.
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