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Gene name spo0A
Synonyms spo0C, spo0G, spoIIL, sof-1
Essential no
Product phosphorelay response regulator
Function initiation of sporulation
Gene expression levels in SubtiExpress: spo0A
Interactions involving this protein in SubtInteract: Spo0A
Metabolic function and regulation of this protein in SubtiPathways:
Biofilm, Nucleotides (regulation), Ammonium/ glutamate,
Central C-metabolism,Sugar catabolism, Phosphorelay, Stress,
tRNA charging,Lipid synthesis, Protein secretion
MW, pI 29 kDa, 5.989
Gene length, protein length 801 bp, 267 aa
Immediate neighbours yqiG, spoIVB
Sequences Protein DNA DNA_with_flanks
Genetic context
Spo0A context.gif
This image was kindly provided by SubtiList
Expression at a glance   PubMed
Spo0A expression.png

Categories containing this gene/protein

transcription factors and their control, phosphorelay, biofilm formation, phosphoproteins

This gene is a member of the following regulons

SigH regulon, Spo0A regulon

The Spo0A regulon

The gene

Basic information

  • Locus tag: BSU24220

Phenotypes of a mutant

  • inactivation of spo0A restores beta-lactam resistance in a sigM mutant PubMed
  • altered cell death pattern in colonies PubMed

Database entries

  • DBTBS entry: [1]
  • SubtiList entry: [2]

Additional information

The protein

Basic information/ Evolution

  • Catalyzed reaction/ biological activity:
    • activation of gene expression at the onset of sporulation (Spo0A regulon)
    • coordination between DNA replication and initiation of sporulation by binding to sites close to the oriC (this limits re-initiation of replication) PubMed
  • Protein family:
  • Paralogous protein(s):

Extended information on the protein

  • Kinetic information:
  • Domains:
  • Modification: receives phosphorylation from Spo0B, dephosphorylation by Spo0E, direct phosphorylation by KinC upon potassium leakage PubMed
  • Cofactor(s):
  • Effectors of protein activity:
    • the phosphorylation state affects DNA binding activity
    • interaction with MecA inhibits the transcriptional activity of Spo0A∼P PubMed

Database entries

  • Structure: 1QMP (with phosphorylated aspartate, Geobacillus stearothermophilus), 1FC3 (trans-activation domain, Geobacillus stearothermophilus), 1LQ1 (complex with DNA)
  • KEGG entry: [3]
  • E.C. number:

Additional information

Expression and regulation

  • Regulation:
    • repressed under conditions that trigger sporulation (Spo0A) PubMed
    • repressed by casamino acids PubMed
    • repressed by SinR overexpression PubMed
    • repressed by soj PubMed
    • expression increases when drowth rate declines PubMed
  • Regulatory mechanism:
    • Spo0A: transcription repression PubMed
    • Spo0A synthesis is subject to a post-transcriptional control mechanism such that translation of mRNAs originating from the SigA-dependent promoter is impeded due to RNA secondary structure PubMed
  • Additional information:

Biological materials

  • Mutant:
  • Expression vector:
  • lacZ fusion:
  • GFP fusion:
  • two-hybrid system:
  • Antibody:

Labs working on this gene/protein

Your additional remarks



Liza Gross
Built-in timer delays differentiation.
PLoS Biol.: 2012, 10(1);e1001254
[PubMed:22303284] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

José Eduardo González-Pastor
Cannibalism: a social behavior in sporulating Bacillus subtilis.
FEMS Microbiol. Rev.: 2011, 35(3);415-24
[PubMed:20955377] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Michiel J L de Hoon, Patrick Eichenberger, Dennis Vitkup
Hierarchical evolution of the bacterial sporulation network.
Curr. Biol.: 2010, 20(17);R735-45
[PubMed:20833318] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Tsutomu Katayama, Shogo Ozaki, Kenji Keyamura, Kazuyuki Fujimitsu
Regulation of the replication cycle: conserved and diverse regulatory systems for DnaA and oriC.
Nat. Rev. Microbiol.: 2010, 8(3);163-70
[PubMed:20157337] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Daniel López, Roberto Kolter
Extracellular signals that define distinct and coexisting cell fates in Bacillus subtilis.
FEMS Microbiol. Rev.: 2010, 34(2);134-49
[PubMed:20030732] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Daniel Schultz, Peter G Wolynes, Eshel Ben Jacob, José N Onuchic
Deciding fate in adverse times: sporulation and competence in Bacillus subtilis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 2009, 106(50);21027-34
[PubMed:19995980] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

S Seredick, G B Spiegelman
Lessons and questions from the structure of the Spo0A activation domain.
Trends Microbiol.: 2001, 9(4);148-51
[PubMed:11286862] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

The Spo0A regulon

Masaya Fujita, José Eduardo González-Pastor, Richard Losick
High- and low-threshold genes in the Spo0A regulon of Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2005, 187(4);1357-68
[PubMed:15687200] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Virginie Molle, Masaya Fujita, Shane T Jensen, Patrick Eichenberger, José E González-Pastor, Jun S Liu, Richard Losick
The Spo0A regulon of Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2003, 50(5);1683-701
[PubMed:14651647] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Other original Publications

Additional publications: PubMed

Sharon Garti-Levi, Ashlee Eswara, Yoav Smith, Masaya Fujita, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
Novel modulators controlling entry into sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2013, 195(7);1475-83
[PubMed:23335417] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Mirjam Boonstra, Imke G de Jong, Graham Scholefield, Heath Murray, Oscar P Kuipers, Jan-Willem Veening
Spo0A regulates chromosome copy number during sporulation by directly binding to the origin of replication in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2013, 87(4);925-38
[PubMed:23301687] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Fordyce A Davidson, Chung Seon-Yi, Nicola R Stanley-Wall
Selective heterogeneity in exoprotease production by Bacillus subtilis.
PLoS ONE: 2012, 7(6);e38574
[PubMed:22745669] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Joe H Levine, Michelle E Fontes, Jonathan Dworkin, Michael B Elowitz
Pulsed feedback defers cellular differentiation.
PLoS Biol.: 2012, 10(1);e1001252
[PubMed:22303282] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Nicolas Mirouze, Peter Prepiak, David Dubnau
Fluctuations in spo0A transcription control rare developmental transitions in Bacillus subtilis.
PLoS Genet.: 2011, 7(4);e1002048
[PubMed:21552330] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Claudio Aguilar, Hera Vlamakis, Alejandra Guzman, Richard Losick, Roberto Kolter
KinD is a checkpoint protein linking spore formation to extracellular-matrix production in Bacillus subtilis biofilms.
mBio: 2010, 1(1);
[PubMed:20689749] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I e)

Prahathees Eswaramoorthy, Jeffrey Dinh, Daniel Duan, Oleg A Igoshin, Masaya Fujita
Single-cell measurement of the levels and distributions of the phosphorelay components in a population of sporulating Bacillus subtilis cells.
Microbiology (Reading): 2010, 156(Pt 8);2294-2304
[PubMed:20413551] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Arnaud Chastanet, Dennis Vitkup, Guo-Cheng Yuan, Thomas M Norman, Jun S Liu, Richard M Losick
Broadly heterogeneous activation of the master regulator for sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 2010, 107(18);8486-91
[PubMed:20404177] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Imke G de Jong, Jan-Willem Veening, Oscar P Kuipers
Heterochronic phosphorelay gene expression as a source of heterogeneity in Bacillus subtilis spore formation.
J. Bacteriol.: 2010, 192(8);2053-67
[PubMed:20154131] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Steve D Seredick, Barbara M Seredick, David Baker, George B Spiegelman
An A257V mutation in the bacillus subtilis response regulator Spo0A prevents regulated expression of promoters with low-consensus binding sites.
J. Bacteriol.: 2009, 191(17);5489-98
[PubMed:19581368] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Virginia Castilla-Llorente, Wilfried J J Meijer, Margarita Salas
Differential Spo0A-mediated effects on transcription and replication of the related Bacillus subtilis phages Nf and phi29 explain their different behaviours in vivo.
Nucleic Acids Res.: 2009, 37(15);4955-64
[PubMed:19528067] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Virginia Castilla-Llorente, Margarita Salas, Wilfried J J Meijer
Different responses to Spo0A-mediated suppression of the related Bacillus subtilis phages Nf and phi29.
Environ. Microbiol.: 2009, 11(5);1137-49
[PubMed:19207565] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Daniel López, Michael A Fischbach, Frances Chu, Richard Losick, Roberto Kolter
Structurally diverse natural products that cause potassium leakage trigger multicellularity in Bacillus subtilis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 2009, 106(1);280-5
[PubMed:19114652] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Daniel T Verhamme, Ewan J Murray, Nicola R Stanley-Wall
DegU and Spo0A jointly control transcription of two loci required for complex colony development by Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2009, 191(1);100-8
[PubMed:18978066] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Allison V Banse, Arnaud Chastanet, Lilah Rahn-Lee, Errett C Hobbs, Richard Losick
Parallel pathways of repression and antirepression governing the transition to stationary phase in Bacillus subtilis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 2008, 105(40);15547-52
[PubMed:18840696] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Amrita Kumar, Charles P Moran
Promoter activation by repositioning of RNA polymerase.
J. Bacteriol.: 2008, 190(9);3110-7
[PubMed:18296515] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (I p)

Steve D Seredick, George B Spiegelman
Bacillus subtilis RNA polymerase recruits the transcription factor Spo0A approximately P to stabilize a closed complex during transcription initiation.
J. Mol. Biol.: 2007, 366(1);19-35
[PubMed:17157871] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Guangnan Chen, Amrita Kumar, Travis H Wyman, Charles P Moran
Spo0A-dependent activation of an extended -10 region promoter in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2006, 188(4);1411-8
[PubMed:16452424] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Jessica M Silvaggi, John B Perkins, Richard Losick
Genes for small, noncoding RNAs under sporulation control in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2006, 188(2);532-41
[PubMed:16385044] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Masaya Fujita, Richard Losick
Evidence that entry into sporulation in Bacillus subtilis is governed by a gradual increase in the level and activity of the master regulator Spo0A.
Genes Dev.: 2005, 19(18);2236-44
[PubMed:16166384] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Ulrike Mäder, Susanne Hennig, Michael Hecker, Georg Homuth
Transcriptional organization and posttranscriptional regulation of the Bacillus subtilis branched-chain amino acid biosynthesis genes.
J. Bacteriol.: 2004, 186(8);2240-52
[PubMed:15060025] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Steve D Seredick, George B Spiegelman
The Bacillus subtilis response regulator Spo0A stimulates sigmaA-dependent transcription prior to the major energetic barrier.
J. Biol. Chem.: 2004, 279(17);17397-403
[PubMed:14976210] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Amrita Kumar, James A Brannigan, Charles P Moran
Alpha-helix E of Spo0A is required for sigmaA- but not for sigmaH-dependent promoter activation in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2004, 186(4);1078-83
[PubMed:14762002] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Steve D Seredick, Barbara M Turner, George B Spiegelman
Assay of transcription modulation by SpoOA of Bacillus subtilis.
Meth. Enzymol.: 2003, 370;312-23
[PubMed:14712656] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Amrita Kumar, Cindy Buckner Starke, Mark DeZalia, Charles P Moran
Surfaces of Spo0A and RNA polymerase sigma factor A that interact at the spoIIG promoter in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2004, 186(1);200-6
[PubMed:14679239] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Masaya Fujita, Richard Losick
The master regulator for entry into sporulation in Bacillus subtilis becomes a cell-specific transcription factor after asymmetric division.
Genes Dev.: 2003, 17(9);1166-74
[PubMed:12730135] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Shigeo Hosoya, Kei Asai, Naotake Ogasawara, Michio Takeuchi, Tsutomu Sato
Mutation in yaaT leads to significant inhibition of phosphorelay during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 2002, 184(20);5545-53
[PubMed:12270811] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Haiyan Zhao, Tarek Msadek, James Zapf, Madhusudan, James A Hoch, Kottayil I Varughese
DNA complexed structure of the key transcription factor initiating development in sporulating bacteria.
Structure: 2002, 10(8);1041-50
[PubMed:12176382] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

Sophie J Stephenson, Marta Perego
Interaction surface of the Spo0A response regulator with the Spo0E phosphatase.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2002, 44(6);1455-67
[PubMed:12067336] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Perego
A new family of aspartyl phosphate phosphatases targeting the sporulation transcription factor Spo0A of Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2001, 42(1);133-43
[PubMed:11679073] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

C Eymann, G Mittenhuber, M Hecker
The stringent response, sigmaH-dependent gene expression and sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Gen. Genet.: 2001, 264(6);913-23
[PubMed:11254139] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

H Nanamiya, K Takahashi, M Fujita, F Kawamura
Deficiency of the initiation events of sporulation in Bacillus subtilis clpP mutant can be suppressed by a lack of the Spo0E protein phosphatase.
Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun.: 2000, 279(1);229-33
[PubMed:11112444] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Jiang, W Shao, M Perego, J A Hoch
Multiple histidine kinases regulate entry into stationary phase and sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 2000, 38(3);535-42
[PubMed:11069677] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

P Fawcett, P Eichenberger, R Losick, P Youngman
The transcriptional profile of early to middle sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 2000, 97(14);8063-8
[PubMed:10869437] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

J D Quisel, A D Grossman
Control of sporulation gene expression in Bacillus subtilis by the chromosome partitioning proteins Soj (ParA) and Spo0J (ParB).
J. Bacteriol.: 2000, 182(12);3446-51
[PubMed:10852876] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

C M Buckner, C P Moran
A region in Bacillus subtilis sigmaH required for Spo0A-dependent promoter activity.
J. Bacteriol.: 1998, 180(18);4987-90
[PubMed:9733708] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M A Cervin, R J Lewis, J A Brannigan, G B Spiegelman
The Bacillus subtilis regulator SinR inhibits spoIIG promoter transcription in vitro without displacing RNA polymerase.
Nucleic Acids Res.: 1998, 26(16);3806-12
[PubMed:9685500] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

C M Buckner, G Schyns, C P Moran
A region in the Bacillus subtilis transcription factor Spo0A that is important for spoIIG promoter activation.
J. Bacteriol.: 1998, 180(14);3578-83
[PubMed:9658000] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

A Khvorova, L Zhang, M L Higgins, P J Piggot
The spoIIE locus is involved in the Spo0A-dependent switch in the location of FtsZ rings in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 1998, 180(5);1256-60
[PubMed:9495766] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

C E Grimshaw, S Huang, C G Hanstein, M A Strauch, D Burbulys, L Wang, J A Hoch, J M Whiteley
Synergistic kinetic interactions between components of the phosphorelay controlling sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Biochemistry: 1998, 37(5);1365-75
[PubMed:9477965] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

G Schyns, C M Buckner, C P Moran
Activation of the Bacillus subtilis spoIIG promoter requires interaction of Spo0A and the sigma subunit of RNA polymerase.
J. Bacteriol.: 1997, 179(17);5605-8
[PubMed:9287022] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

L V Wray, A E Ferson, S H Fisher
Expression of the Bacillus subtilis ureABC operon is controlled by multiple regulatory factors including CodY, GlnR, TnrA, and Spo0H.
J. Bacteriol.: 1997, 179(17);5494-501
[PubMed:9287005] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Perego, P Glaser, J A Hoch
Aspartyl-phosphate phosphatases deactivate the response regulator components of the sporulation signal transduction system in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol. Microbiol.: 1996, 19(6);1151-7
[PubMed:8730857] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

P A Levin, R Losick
Transcription factor Spo0A switches the localization of the cell division protein FtsZ from a medial to a bipolar pattern in Bacillus subtilis.
Genes Dev.: 1996, 10(4);478-88
[PubMed:8600030] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

J Hahn, M Roggiani, D Dubnau
The major role of Spo0A in genetic competence is to downregulate abrB, an essential competence gene.
J. Bacteriol.: 1995, 177(12);3601-5
[PubMed:7768874] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

J K Grimsley, R B Tjalkens, M A Strauch, T H Bird, G B Spiegelman, Z Hostomsky, J M Whiteley, J A Hoch
Subunit composition and domain structure of the Spo0A sporulation transcription factor of Bacillus subtilis.
J. Biol. Chem.: 1994, 269(24);16977-82
[PubMed:8207022] [WorldCat.org] (P p)

K L Ohlsen, J K Grimsley, J A Hoch
Deactivation of the sporulation transcription factor Spo0A by the Spo0E protein phosphatase.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 1994, 91(5);1756-60
[PubMed:8127878] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

J M Baldus, B D Green, P Youngman, C P Moran
Phosphorylation of Bacillus subtilis transcription factor Spo0A stimulates transcription from the spoIIG promoter by enhancing binding to weak 0A boxes.
J. Bacteriol.: 1994, 176(2);296-306
[PubMed:8288522] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

T H Bird, J K Grimsley, J A Hoch, G B Spiegelman
Phosphorylation of Spo0A activates its stimulation of in vitro transcription from the Bacillus subtilis spoIIG operon.
Mol. Microbiol.: 1993, 9(4);741-9
[PubMed:8231806] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

K K Jensen, E Sharkova, M F Duggan, Y Qi, A Koide, J A Hoch, F M Hulett
Bacillus subtilis transcription regulator, Spo0A, decreases alkaline phosphatase levels induced by phosphate starvation.
J. Bacteriol.: 1993, 175(12);3749-56
[PubMed:8509330] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M A Strauch, K A Trach, J Day, J A Hoch
Spo0A activates and represses its own synthesis by binding at its dual promoters.
Biochimie: 1992, 74(7-8);619-26
[PubMed:1391039] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Predich, G Nair, I Smith
Bacillus subtilis early sporulation genes kinA, spo0F, and spo0A are transcribed by the RNA polymerase containing sigma H.
J. Bacteriol.: 1992, 174(9);2771-8
[PubMed:1569009] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

K York, T J Kenney, S Satola, C P Moran, H Poth, P Youngman
Spo0A controls the sigma A-dependent activation of Bacillus subtilis sporulation-specific transcription unit spoIIE.
J. Bacteriol.: 1992, 174(8);2648-58
[PubMed:1556084] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

S W Satola, J M Baldus, C P Moran
Binding of Spo0A stimulates spoIIG promoter activity in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 1992, 174(5);1448-53
[PubMed:1537790] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Perego, J J Wu, G B Spiegelman, J A Hoch
Mutational dissociation of the positive and negative regulatory properties of the Spo0A sporulation transcription factor of Bacillus subtilis.
Gene: 1991, 100;207-12
[PubMed:1905258] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

D Burbulys, K A Trach, J A Hoch
Initiation of sporulation in B. subtilis is controlled by a multicomponent phosphorelay.
Cell: 1991, 64(3);545-52
[PubMed:1846779] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

U Bai, M Lewandoski, E Dubnau, I Smith
Temporal regulation of the Bacillus subtilis early sporulation gene spo0F.
J. Bacteriol.: 1990, 172(9);5432-9
[PubMed:2118512] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

G Spiegelman, B Van Hoy, M Perego, J Day, K Trach, J A Hoch
Structural alterations in the Bacillus subtilis Spo0A regulatory protein which suppress mutations at several spo0 loci.
J. Bacteriol.: 1990, 172(9);5011-9
[PubMed:2118505] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Strauch, V Webb, G Spiegelman, J A Hoch
The SpoOA protein of Bacillus subtilis is a repressor of the abrB gene.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 1990, 87(5);1801-5
[PubMed:2106683] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

M Perego, G B Spiegelman, J A Hoch
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, 2(6);689-99
[PubMed:3145384] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

P Zuber, R Losick
Role of AbrB in Spo0A- and Spo0B-dependent utilization of a sporulation promoter in Bacillus subtilis.
J. Bacteriol.: 1987, 169(5);2223-30
[PubMed:2437099] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

F A Ferrari, K Trach, D LeCoq, J Spence, E Ferrari, J A Hoch
Characterization of the spo0A locus and its deduced product.
Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A.: 1985, 82(9);2647-51
[PubMed:3157992] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)

J A Hoch, K Trach, F Kawamura, H Saito
Identification of the transcriptional suppressor sof-1 as an alteration in the spo0A protein.
J. Bacteriol.: 1985, 161(2);552-5
[PubMed:2981817] [WorldCat.org] [DOI] (P p)