Papers of the month

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  • May 2024
    • Potassium is essential for all living cells, yet its accumulation can be harmful. Therefore, potassium ion homeostasis must be faithfully controlled. In B. subtilis, this is in part achieved by using three different potassium uptake systems (KtrA-KtrB, KimA, KtrC-KtrD). Moreover, the expression and activity of these systems can be controlled. Now, two papers by Rocha et al. and Chiang et al. have analyzed the regulation of the RCK proteins that control the activity of the potassium channels. Rocha et al. demonstrate that c-di-AMP-mediated shut-down of potassium import is mainly executed via KtrC which is able to interact not only with KtrD but also with KtrB and which also forms heterodimers with KtrA. Thus, KtrC is the dominant regulatory subunit that links potassium uptake to its intracellular concentration. Chiang et al. demonstrate that sodium ions bind in the intra-dimer interfaces of ATP-KtrA, resulting in stabilization of the ATP-bound KtrA-KtrB complex and enhanced potassium flux activity.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Joao Morais-Cabral, KtrA, KtrB, KtrC

Wesley Tien Chiang, Yao-Kai Chang, Wei-Han Hui, Shu-Wei Chang, Chen-Yi Liao, Yi-Chuan Chang, Chun-Jung Chen, Wei-Chen Wang, Chien-Chen Lai, Chun-Hsiung Wang, Siou-Ying Luo, Ya-Ping Huang, Shan-Ho Chou, Tzyy-Leng Horng, Ming-Hon Hou, Stephen P Muench, Ren-Shiang Chen, Ming-Daw Tsai, Nien-Jen Hu
Nat Commun: 2024, 15(1);3850
[PubMed:38719864] [] [DOI] (I e)

Rita Rocha, João M P Jorge, Celso M Teixeira-Duarte, Inês R Figueiredo-Costa, Tatiana B Cereija, Paula F Ferreira-Teixeira, Christina Herzberg, Jörg Stülke, João H Morais-Cabral
c-di-AMP determines the hierarchical organization of bacterial RCK proteins.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2024, 121(18);e2318666121
[PubMed:38652747] [] [DOI] (I p)

Karla Helena-Bueno, Mariia Yu Rybak, Chinenye L Ekemezie, Rudi Sullivan, Charlotte R Brown, Charlotte Dingwall, Arnaud Baslé, Claudia Schneider, James P R Connolly, James N Blaza, Bálint Csörgő, Patrick J Moynihan, Matthieu G Gagnon, Chris H Hill, Sergey V Melnikov
A new family of bacterial ribosome hibernation factors.
Nature: 2024, 626(8001);1125-1132
[PubMed:38355796] [] [DOI] (I p)

Hye-Rim Hong, Cassidy R Prince, Daniel D Tetreault, Letian Wu, Heather A Feaga
YfmR is a translation factor that prevents ribosome stalling and cell death in the absence of EF-P.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2024, 121(8);e2314437121
[PubMed:38349882] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • January 2024
    • Temperate Bacillus phages often use the small-molecule arbitrium communication system to control lysis/lysogeny decisions, but the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Now, two studies show that the arbitrium system of B. subtilis phage ϕ3T modulates the host-encoded MazE-MazF toxin-antitoxin system to regulate the phage life cycle. Upon infection, the MazF ribonuclease is activated by three phage genes. At low arbitrium signal concentrations, MazF is inactivated by two phage-encoded MazE homologues, the arbitrium-controlled AimX and the later-expressed YosL proteins. The results show how a bacterial toxin-antitoxin system has been co-opted by a phage to control lysis/lysogeny decisions without compromising host viability.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Avigdor Eldar, Wilfried Meijer, AimX, AimR, YosL, MazE, MazF

Polina Guler, Shira Omer Bendori, Tom Borenstein, Nitzan Aframian, Amit Kessel, Avigdor Eldar
Arbitrium communication controls phage lysogeny through non-lethal modulation of a host toxin-antitoxin defence system.
Nat Microbiol: 2024, 9(1);150-160
[PubMed:38177304] [] [DOI] (I p)

Sara Zamora-Caballero, Cora Chmielowska, Nuria Quiles-Puchalt, Aisling Brady, Francisca Gallego Del Sol, Javier Mancheño-Bonillo, Alonso Felipe-Ruíz, Wilfried J J Meijer, José R Penadés, Alberto Marina
Antagonistic interactions between phage and host factors control arbitrium lysis-lysogeny decision.
Nat Microbiol: 2024, 9(1);161-172
[PubMed:38177302] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • December 2023
    • DNA replication is initiated by the ubiquitous DnaA protein, which assembles into an oligomeric complex at the chromosome origin (oriC) that engages both double-stranded and single-stranded DNA to promote DNA duplex opening. However, the mechanism of DnaA specifically opening a replication origin was unknown. Now, Pelliciari et al. show that B. subtilis DnaA assembles into a continuous oligomer at the site of DNA melting, extending from a dsDNA anchor to engage a single DNA strand. Within this complex, two nucleobases of each ssDNA binding motif (DnaA-trio) are captured within a dinucleotide binding pocket created by adjacent DnaA proteins. Their results provide a molecular basis clue how DnaA specifically engages the conserved sequence elements within the bacterial chromosome origin basal unwinding system (BUS).
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Heath Murray, DNA replication, DnaA

Simone Pelliciari, Salomé Bodet-Lefèvre, Stepan Fenyk, Daniel Stevens, Charles Winterhalter, Frederic D Schramm, Sara Pintar, Daniel R Burnham, George Merces, Tomas T Richardson, Yumiko Tashiro, Julia Hubbard, Hasan Yardimci, Aravindan Ilangovan, Heath Murray
The bacterial replication origin BUS promotes nucleobase capture.
Nat Commun: 2023, 14(1);8339
[PubMed:38097584] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • October 2023
    • B. subtilis spores are metabolically dormant and resistant to microbicides, while germinated spores are easy to kill. Thus, understanding germination may facilitate the development of "germinate-to-eradicate" strategies. A recent high-profile paper [Science (2022) 378:43] (POTM October 2022) suggested that increasing spore electrochemical potential is how memory is "stored" based on measurements of accumulation of the dye thioflavin-T after germinant exposure. Now,Li et al. challenge this view and show that inferring spores' electrochemical potential from thioflavin-T accumulation is problematic. Thioflavin-T accumulation during the early stages of germination is due to its binding to the spore coat rather than to changes in spores' electrochemical potential. Thus, using thioflavin-T uptake by germinating spores to assess the involvement of electrochemical potential in memory of germinant exposure, as suggested recently, is questionable.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Peter Setlow, Germination

Yong-Qing Li, Lin He, Makunda Aryal, James Wicander, George Korza, Peter Setlow
Thioflavin-T does not report on electrochemical potential and memory of dormant or germinating bacterial spores.
mBio: 2023, 14(5);e0222023
[PubMed:37830807] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • September 2023
    • Cell wall synthesis requires an interplay of breaking old and making new bonds in peptidoglycan. Due to their redundancy, it has been difficult so far, to study the function of individual cell wall hydrolyses. Now, Wilson et al. from the labs of Ethan Garner and Simon Foster have deleted 40 potential hydrolyses, keeping only LytE and CwlO. Each of these hydrolases is still dispensable in the deletion strain. The study demonstrates that the only essential function of cell wall hydrolases in B. subtilis is to enable cell growth by expanding the wall and that LytE or CwlO alone are sufficient for this function.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Ethan Garner, Simon Foster, LytE, CwlO, Autolytic activity required for peptidoglycan synthesis

Sean A Wilson, Raveen K J Tank, Jamie K Hobbs, Simon J Foster, Ethan C Garner
mBio: 2023, 14(5);e0176023
[PubMed:37768080] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jörg Stülke, Anika Grüppen, Marc Bramkamp, Stefan Pelzer
Bacillus subtilis, a Swiss Army Knife in Science and Biotechnology.
J Bacteriol: 2023, 205(5);e0010223
[PubMed:37140386] [] [DOI] (I p)

Erhard Bremer, Alexandra Calteau, Antoine Danchin, Colin Harwood, John D Helmann, Claudine Médigue, Bernhard O Palsson, Agnieszka Sekowska, David Vallenet, Abril Zuniga, Cristal Zuniga
A model industrial workhorse: Bacillus subtilis strain 168 and its genome after a quarter of a century.
Microb Biotechnol: 2023, 16(6);1203-1231
[PubMed:37002859] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • April 2023
    • B. subtilis spores are able to resist a variety of hostile conditions and can remain metabolically inactive for centuries. In the presence of nutrients, the spores can initiate germination in minutes. How the inactive spores detect the nutrients and start outgrowth, has remained a matter of debate. Now, Gao et al. from the lab of David Rudner discovered that germinant receptors embedded in the spore membrane oligomerize into nutrient-gated ion channels and then ion release triggers exit from dormancy.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: David Rudner, GerAA, GerAB, GerAC, germination, SpoVA

Yongqiang Gao, Jeremy D Amon, Lior Artzi, Fernando H Ramírez-Guadiana, Kelly P Brock, Joshua C Cofsky, Deborah S Marks, Andrew C Kruse, David Z Rudner
Bacterial spore germination receptors are nutrient-gated ion channels.
Science: 2023, 380(6643);387-391
[PubMed:37104613] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • March 2023
    • Special note: This is the first BioRxiv paper of the month since the preprint server has at least partially been included in PubMed!

The biofilms of B. subtilis are embedded in a self-made polysaccharide matrix. Little is known about the steps of matrix synthesis. Now, Arbour et al. have identified the enzymes that use the add the starting material UDP-N,N’-diacetylbacillosamine to undecaprenypyrophosphate and then add the second sugar residue, N-acetyl-glucosamine, EpsL and EpsD, respectively.

Christine A Arbour, Rupa Nagar, Hannah M Bernstein, Soumi Ghosh, Yusra Al-Sammarraie, Helge C Dorfmueller, Michael A J Ferguson, Nicola R Stanley-Wall, Barbara Imperiali
bioRxiv: 2023;
[PubMed:36865097] [DOI] (I e)

  • February 2023
    • Many proteins act only in complex with other proteins. However, it is difficult to get an overview about protein-protein interactions at the global proteome level. Now, O'Reilly et al. from the group of Juri Rappsilber have identified the global interactome of B. subtilis by combining in vivo protein cross-linking and complex cofractionation with mass-spectrometry. They also predicted complex structures using AlphaFold multimer. Importantly, several uncharacterized proteins interact with known proteins. Based on such an interaction, the former YneR protein was identified as PdhI, an inhibitor of pyruvate dehydrogenase.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Juri Rappsilber, PdhI, PdhA-PdhB-PdhC-PdhD, YabR, YugI, see the list of protein complexes with novel structural predictions

Francis J O'Reilly, Andrea Graziadei, Christian Forbrig, Rica Bremenkamp, Kristine Charles, Swantje Lenz, Christoph Elfmann, Lutz Fischer, Jörg Stülke, Juri Rappsilber
Protein complexes in cells by AI-assisted structural proteomics.
Mol Syst Biol: 2023, 19(4);e11544
[PubMed:36815589] [] [DOI] (I p)

A comment on the paper:

Toni Träger, Panagiotis L Kastritis
Cracking the code of cellular protein-protein interactions: Alphafold and whole-cell crosslinking to the rescue.
Mol Syst Biol: 2023, 19(4);e11587
[PubMed:36896624] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • November 2022
    • Cell wall synthesis involves the flipping of sugar-loaded undecaprenyl pyrophosphate molecules to the surface of the cell. So far, it has remained enigmatic, how the released undecaprenyl phosphate can then be recycled. Now, Roney & Rudner have identified the last missing piece of the part list of cell envelope biogenesis and surface modification pathways in B. subtilis and other bacteria. Using a transposon screen, they identified the uptake gene product as responsible for undecaprenyl phosphate flipping to the cytoplasmic side of the membrane.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: David Rudner, cell wall biosynthesis, UptA

Ian J Roney, David Z Rudner
Two broadly conserved families of polyprenyl-phosphate transporters.
Nature: 2023, 613(7945);729-734
[PubMed:36450357] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • October 2022
    • B. subtilis spores can spend years in a dormant, biochemically inactive state, yet they retain the ability to process information from cues that can release them from dormancy and trigger germination. Now, Kikuchi et al. show that despite continued dormancy, the spores can integrate environmental signals over time through a preexisting electrochemical potential. The works reveals a decision-making mechanism that operates in physiologically inactive cells.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Gürol M. Süel, germination, Potassium uptake/export

Kaito Kikuchi, Leticia Galera-Laporta, Colleen Weatherwax, Jamie Y Lam, Eun Chae Moon, Emmanuel A Theodorakis, Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo, Gürol M Süel
Electrochemical potential enables dormant spores to integrate environmental signals.
Science: 2022, 378(6615);43-49
[PubMed:36201591] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • September 2022
    • More than 25 years ago, PrkA has been described as a protein kinase. However, the function of the protein has always remained enigmatic. Now, using an elegant combination of bioinformatic and experimental approaches Zhang et al. from the lab of Anne Galinier demonstrate that PrkA is not a protein kinase, but an AAA+ type ATP-dependent protease. This protease activity is important for sporulation of B. subtilis. Moreover, the activity of PrkA is controlled by PrkC-dependent phosphorylation of Thr-217.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Anne Galinier, PrkA, PrkC, sporulation

Ao Zhang, Régine Lebrun, Leon Espinosa, Anne Galinier, Frédérique Pompeo
PrkA is an ATP-dependent protease that regulates sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
J Biol Chem: 2022, 298(10);102436
[PubMed:36041628] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • August 2022
    • The conserved nucleotide diadenosine tetraphosphate (Ap4A) is induced under various stresses, including heat. In a non-biased screen, Giammarinaro et al. have identified a critical role of Ap4A in binding the IMP dehydrogenase GuaB, thus inhibiting a central step in purine metabolism and heat resistance. The authors clarify the molecular mechanism of Ap4A action on the inosine-5′-monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) enzyme and demonstrate the Ap4A is a bona fide nucleotide second messenger.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Gert Bange, Jade Wang, GuaB

A conserved alarmone as a direct regulator of purine metabolism.
Nat Microbiol: 2022, 7(9);1331-1332
[PubMed:35978147] [] [DOI] (I p)

Pietro I Giammarinaro, Megan K M Young, Wieland Steinchen, Christopher-Nils Mais, Georg Hochberg, Jin Yang, David M Stevenson, Daniel Amador-Noguez, Anja Paulus, Jue D Wang, Gert Bange
Diadenosine tetraphosphate regulates biosynthesis of GTP in Bacillus subtilis.
Nat Microbiol: 2022, 7(9);1442-1452
[PubMed:35953658] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • March 2022
    • DNA helicases of the RecD2 family are ubiquitous. Bacillus subtilis RecD2 in association with the single-stranded binding protein SsbA may contribute to replication fork progression, but its detailed action remains unknown. Now, Ramos et al. have investigated the role of RecD2 during DNA replication and its interaction with the RecA recombinase. RecD2 inhibits replication restart. RecA inhibits leading and lagging strand synthesis, and RecD2, which physically interacts with RecA, counteracts this negative effect. The inactivation of recD2 promotes RecA–ssDNA accumulation at low mitomycin C levels, and RecA threads persist for a longer time after induction of DNA damage. In vitro, RecD2 modulates RecA-mediated DNA strand-exchange and catalyzes branch migration. These findings show how RecD2 may contribute to overcome a replicative stress, removing RecA from the ssDNA and, thus, it may act as a negative modulator of RecA filament growth.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Peter Graumann, Juan C. Alonso, RecD2, RecA, SsbA, DNA replication

Cristina Ramos, Rogelio Hernández-Tamayo, María López-Sanz, Begoña Carrasco, Ester Serrano, Juan C Alonso, Peter L Graumann, Silvia Ayora
The RecD2 helicase balances RecA activities.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2022, 50(6);3432-3444
[PubMed:35234892] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2022
    • Nucleoprotein complexes play an integral role in genome organization of both eukaryotes and prokaryotes as they may affect global chromosome organization by mediating long-range anchored chromosomal loop formation that results in spatial segregation of large sections of DNA. While such megabase-range interactions are ubiquitous in eukaryotes, they have so far not been demonstrated in prokaryotes. Now, Dugar et al. from the lab of Leendert Hamoen found that a transcription factor, Rok, forms large nucleoprotein complexes in B. subtilis. They demonstrate that these complexes robustly interact with each other over large distances. Importantly, these Rok-dependent long-range interactions lead to anchored chromosomal loop formation, thereby spatially isolating large sections of DNA, as previously observed for insulator proteins in eukaryotes.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Leendert Hamoen, Rok, DNA condensation/ segregation

Gaurav Dugar, Andreas Hofmann, Dieter W Heermann, Leendert W Hamoen
A chromosomal loop anchor mediates bacterial genome organization.
Nat Genet: 2022, 54(2);194-201
[PubMed:35075232] [] [DOI] (I p)

Brent W Anderson, Maria A Schumacher, Jin Yang, Asan Turdiev, Husan Turdiev, Jeremy W Schroeder, Qixiang He, Vincent T Lee, Richard G Brennan, Jue D Wang
The nucleotide messenger (p)ppGpp is an anti-inducer of the purine synthesis transcription regulator PurR in Bacillus.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2022, 50(2);847-866
[PubMed:34967415] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • July 2021
    • Each ribonucleotide has specific functions in addition to being a substrate in nucleic acid synthesis. ATP, GTP, and UTP play key role in energy metabolism, in translation, and in polysaccharide biosynthesis, respectively. This month, two papers describe important functions of CTP in processes related to cell division. Balaguer et al. from the lab of Fernando Moreno-Herrero demonstrate that CTP binds to the chromosome segregation protein ParB to facilitate the interaction with parS DNA sites. Moreover, Jalal et al. show that CTP triggers binding of the nucleoid occlusion protein Noc to specific binding sites and subsequent binding to the membrane. Thus, CTP is involved in central processes in cell division.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Fernando Moreno-Herrero, ParB, Noc, DNA condensation/ segregation, cell division

Adam S B Jalal, Ngat T Tran, Ling J Wu, Karunakaran Ramakrishnan, Martin Rejzek, Giulia Gobbato, Clare E M Stevenson, David M Lawson, Jeff Errington, Tung B K Le
CTP regulates membrane-binding activity of the nucleoid occlusion protein Noc.
Mol Cell: 2021, 81(17);3623-3636.e6
[PubMed:34270916] [] [DOI] (I p)

Francisco de Asis Balaguer, Clara Aicart-Ramos, Gemma Lm Fisher, Sara de Bragança, Eva M Martin-Cuevas, Cesar L Pastrana, Mark Simon Dillingham, Fernando Moreno-Herrero
Elife: 2021, 10;
[PubMed:34250901] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • June 2021
    • Genome replication is a fundamental requirement for life. To initiate replication, conserved initiation proteins assemble at replication origins and direct loading of replicative helicases. Despite decades of study on bacterial DNA replication, the diversity of bacterial chromosome origin architecture has confounded the search for molecular mechanisms directing the initiation process. Now, Pelliciari et al. from the lab of Heath Murray have elucidated the mechanism for B. subtilis. They report that a pair of dsDNA binding sites (DnaA-boxes) guide the replication initiator DnaA onto adjacent ssDNA binding motifs (DnaA-trios) where DnaA assembles into an oligomer that stretches DNA to promote origin unwinding. These core elements are present in the majority of bacterial chromosome origins and their principle activities of the origin unwinding system are conserved. This basal mechanism for oriC unwinding is thus broadly functionally conserved and therefore may represent an ancestral system to open bacterial chromosome origins.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Heath Murray, DNA replication, DnaA

Simone Pelliciari, Mei-Jing Dong, Feng Gao, Heath Murray
Evidence for a chromosome origin unwinding system broadly conserved in bacteria.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2021, 49(13);7525-7536
[PubMed:34197592] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • May 2021
    • This month, the paper of the month serves to pay tribute to the work of the late Dan Tawfik who passed away in a climbing accident. It has been known for a long time that many enzymes moonlight in controlling gene expression. Now, Jayaraman et al. from Dan's lab of report that a large multi-enzyme complex in B. subtilis that consists of two enzymes catalyzing opposite rather than sequential reactions (“counter-enzymes”): glutamate synthase (GltA-GltB) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GudB), that make and break glutamate, respectively. The primary role of complex formation is to inhibit GudB’s activity as this enzyme is constitutively expressed including in glutamate-limiting conditions. The data suggest that this complex has a regulatory role at fluctuating glutamate concentrations.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Dan Tawfik, glutamate metabolism, GltA, GltB, GudB


  • April 2021
    • Sigma factors are important specificity factors of RNA polymerase that allow the recognition of specific promoters. Now, McCormick et al. from the lab of Gene-Wei Li report that the induction of stress genes by SigB also may strongly enhance translation of the controlled genes. These genes have multiple promoters, a more upstream promoter recognized by SigA and more downstream promoter recognized by SigB. Transcription from the upstream promoter results in long untranslated regions of the mRNA that may form secondary structures and thus prevent translation. Transcription from the SigB-dependent promoter results in shorter untranslated regions that may more efficiently be translated.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Gene-Wei Li, transcription, translation, SigA, SigB, ctc, yvrE

Dylan M McCormick, Jean-Benoît Lalanne, Tammy C T Lan, Silvi Rouskin, Gene-Wei Li
RNA: 2021, 27(7);791-804
[PubMed:33927010] [] [DOI] (I a)

  • March 2021
    • Although many components of the B. subtilis cell division machinery have been identified, the mechanisms by which they work together to divide the cell remain poorly understood. Key among these components is the tubulin FtsZ, which forms a Z ring at the midcell and recruits the other cell division proteins, collectively called the divisome. Now, Squyres et al. from the lab of Ethan Garner applied live-cell single-molecule imaging to describe the dynamics of the divisome in detail, and to evaluate the individual roles of FtsZ-binding proteins, specifically FtsA, EzrA, SepF and ZapA, in cytokinesis. They show that the divisome comprises two subcomplexes that move differently: stationary FtsZ-binding proteins that transiently bind to treadmilling FtsZ filaments, and a moving complex that includes cell wall synthases.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Ethan Garner, cell division, FtsZ, EzrA, SepF, ZapA

Georgia R Squyres, Matthew J Holmes, Sarah R Barger, Betheney R Pennycook, Joel Ryan, Victoria T Yan, Ethan C Garner
Single-molecule imaging reveals that Z-ring condensation is essential for cell division in Bacillus subtilis.
Nat Microbiol: 2021, 6(5);553-562
[PubMed:33737746] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2021
    • Higher organisms as well as photosynthetic bacteria possess circadian clocks that create a 24-hour temporal structure. So far, circadian clocks have not been identified in nonphotosynthetic bacteria. Now, Eelderink-Chen et al. identify circadian rhythms sharing the canonical properties of circadian clocks in B. subtilis: free-running period, entrainment, and temperature compensation. The study shows that gene expression in B. subtilis can be synchronized in 24-hour light or temperature cycles and exhibit phase-specific characteristics of entrainment. Upon release to constant dark and temperature conditions, bacterial biofilm populations have temperature-compensated free-running oscillations with a period close to 24 hours.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Akos T Kovacs, ytvA

Zheng Eelderink-Chen, Jasper Bosman, Francesca Sartor, Antony N Dodd, Ákos T Kovács, Martha Merrow
A circadian clock in a nonphotosynthetic prokaryote.
Sci Adv: 2021, 7(2);
[PubMed:33523996] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • January 2021
    • So far, the role of metabolism in B. subtilis sporulation has remained poorly understood. Now Riley et al. from the lab of Kit Pogliano demonstrate that B. subtilis sporulation entails a marked metabolic differentiation of the forespore and the mother cell. Their data demonstrate that metabolic precursor biosynthesis becomes restricted to the mother cell and that the forespore becomes reliant on mother cell-derived metabolites for protein synthesis. Importantly, arginine is trafficked between the two cells and via proposed proteinaceous channels that mediate small-molecule intercellular transport. Thus, sporulation entails the profound metabolic reprogramming of the forespore, which is depleted of key metabolic enzymes and must import metabolites from the mother cell.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Kit Pogliano, SpoIIQ, SpoIIIAH, metabolism, biosynthesis/ acquisition of amino acids

Eammon P Riley, Javier Lopez-Garrido, Joseph Sugie, Roland B Liu, Kit Pogliano
Metabolic differentiation and intercellular nurturing underpin bacterial endospore formation.
Sci Adv: 2021, 7(4);
[PubMed:33523946] [] [DOI] (I e)


  • December 2020
    • Single-cell RNA-sequencing has become an essential tool for characterizing gene expression in eukaryotes but current methods are incompatible with bacteria. Now, Kuchina et al. have developed a high-throughput method for single-cell RNA-sequencing that can resolve heterogeneous transcriptional states. They applied the technique to >25,000 B. subtilis cells sampled at different growth stages, and thus created an atlas of changes in metabolism and lifestyle. The authors retrieved detailed gene expression profiles associated with known, but rare, states such as competence and prophage induction, and also identified novel and unexpected gene expression states including the heterogeneous activation of a niche metabolic pathway in a subpopulation of cells. MicroSPLiT paves the way to high-throughput analysis of gene expression in bacterial communities otherwise not amenable to single-cell analysis.

Anna Kuchina, Leandra M Brettner, Luana Paleologu, Charles M Roco, Alexander B Rosenberg, Alberto Carignano, Ryan Kibler, Matthew Hirano, R William DePaolo, Georg Seelig
Microbial single-cell RNA sequencing by split-pool barcoding.
Science: 2021, 371(6531);
[PubMed:33335020] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • November 2020
    • Aborted translation produces large ribosomal subunits obstructed with tRNA-linked nascent chains, which are substrates of ribosome-associated quality control. B. subtilis RqcH, a widely conserved ribosome-associated quality control factor, senses the obstruction and recruits tRNAAla(UGC) to modify nascent-chain C termini with a polyalanine degradation signal. However, how RqcH and its eukaryotic homologs synthesize such C-terminal tails in the absence of a small ribosomal subunit and mRNA has remained enigmatic. Now, two studies by Crowe-McAuliffe et al. and Filbeck et al. report the structures of Bacillus subtilis ribosome-associated quality control complexes. The structures explain how tRNAAla is selected via anticodon reading during recruitment to the A-site and uncover striking hinge-like movements in RqcH leading tRNAAla into a hybrid A/P-state associated with peptidyl-transfer. Moreover, the studies identify the Hsp15 homolog RqcP as a novel ribosome-associated quality control component that completes the cycle by stabilizing the P-site tRNA conformation. Ala tailing thus follows mechanistic principles surprisingly similar to canonical translation elongation.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: RqcH, RqcP, ribosome, translation

Sebastian Filbeck, Federico Cerullo, Helge Paternoga, George Tsaprailis, Claudio A P Joazeiro, Stefan Pfeffer
Mimicry of Canonical Translation Elongation Underlies Alanine Tail Synthesis in RQC.
Mol Cell: 2021, 81(1);104-114.e6
[PubMed:33259811] [] [DOI] (I p)

Caillan Crowe-McAuliffe, Hiraku Takada, Victoriia Murina, Christine Polte, Sergo Kasvandik, Tanel Tenson, Zoya Ignatova, Gemma C Atkinson, Daniel N Wilson, Vasili Hauryliuk
Structural Basis for Bacterial Ribosome-Associated Quality Control by RqcH and RqcP.
Mol Cell: 2021, 81(1);115-126.e7
[PubMed:33259810] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • October 2020
    • Bacterial nanotubes have been reported to facilitate the exchange of DNA, proteins, and nutrients. Now, Pospisil et al. show that nanotube formation is associated with stress conditions, and that nanotubes appear to be extruded exclusively from dying cells. Moreover, the study demonstrates that cell-to-cell transfer of non-conjugative plasmids depends strictly on the competence system of the cell, and not on nanotube formation. This study thus suggests that bacterial nanotubes are a post mortem phenomenon involved in cell disintegration, and are unlikely to be involved in cytoplasmic content exchange between live cells.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Libor Krasny, Imrich Barak, Sigal Ben-Yehuda, SigD, genetic competence

Jiří Pospíšil, Dragana Vítovská, Olga Kofroňová, Katarína Muchová, Hana Šanderová, Martin Hubálek, Michaela Šiková, Martin Modrák, Oldřich Benada, Imrich Barák, Libor Krásný
Bacterial nanotubes as a manifestation of cell death.
Nat Commun: 2020, 11(1);4963
[PubMed:33009406] [] [DOI] (I e)

Grace E Johnson, Jean-Benoît Lalanne, Michelle L Peters, Gene-Wei Li
Functionally uncoupled transcription-translation in Bacillus subtilis.
Nature: 2020, 585(7823);124-128
[PubMed:32848247] [] [DOI] (I p)

Francis J O'Reilly, Liang Xue, Andrea Graziadei, Ludwig Sinn, Swantje Lenz, Dimitry Tegunov, Cedric Blötz, Neil Singh, Wim J H Hagen, Patrick Cramer, Jörg Stülke, Julia Mahamid, Juri Rappsilber
In-cell architecture of an actively transcribing-translating expressome.
Science: 2020, 369(6503);554-557
[PubMed:32732422] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • August 2020
    • Many bacteria can form L-forms, that do not require the FtsZ-based cell division machinery. Now, Wu et al. from the lab of Jeff Errington performed microfluidic analyses of the growth, chromosome cycle and division mechanism of B. subtilis L-forms. Their results support the view that L-form division is driven by an excess accumulation of surface area over volume. Cell geometry also plays a dominant role in controlling the relative positions and movement of segregating chromosomes. Furthermore, the presence of the nucleoid appears to influence division both via a cell volume effect and by nucleoid occlusion, even in the absence of FtsZ. The study emphasises the importance of geometric effects for a range of crucial cell functions, and is highly relevant for efforts to develop artificial or minimal cell systems.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: cell division, FtsZ, Jeff Errington

Ling Juan Wu, Seoungjun Lee, Sungshic Park, Lucy E Eland, Anil Wipat, Séamus Holden, Jeff Errington
Geometric principles underlying the proliferation of a model cell system.
Nat Commun: 2020, 11(1);4149
[PubMed:32811832] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • June 2020
    • Peptidoglycan is essential for viability of most bacteria and its synthesis is the target for crucial antibiotics. In B. subtilis, peptidoglycan is generally regarded as a homogeneous structure that provides mechanical strength. Now, Pasquina-Lemonche et al. interrogate B. subtilis peptidoglycan structure, using live cells and purified peptidoglycan. The mature surface of live cells is characterized by a landscape of large (up to 60 nm in diameter), deep (up to 23 nm) pores constituting a disordered gel of peptidoglycan. The inner peptidoglycan surface, consisting of more nascent material, is much denser, with glycan strand spacing typically less than 7 nm. The inner surface architecture is location dependent; the cylinder of B. subtilis has dense circumferential orientation, while in division septa, peptidoglycan is dense but randomly oriented. Revealing the molecular architecture of the cell envelope frames our understanding of its mechanical properties and role as the environmental interface, providing information complementary to traditional structural biology approaches.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: cell wall synthesis, Simon Foster, divisome

L Pasquina-Lemonche, J Burns, R D Turner, S Kumar, R Tank, N Mullin, J S Wilson, B Chakrabarti, P A Bullough, S J Foster, J K Hobbs
The architecture of the Gram-positive bacterial cell wall.
Nature: 2020, 582(7811);294-297
[PubMed:32523118] [] [DOI] (I p)

Alexander J F Egan, Jeff Errington, Waldemar Vollmer
Regulation of peptidoglycan synthesis and remodelling.
Nat Rev Microbiol: 2020, 18(8);446-460
[PubMed:32424210] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • March 2019
    • Lysine acetylation is an abundant yet poorly characterized posttranslational modification in bacteria. Now, Carabetta et al. from the lab of David Dubnau report that acetylation is a regulatory component of the function of HBsu in nucleoid compaction. Genetic experiments demonstrated that two potential members of the acetyltransferase family, YfmK and YdgE, can acetylate HBsu, and their potential acetylation sites of action on HBsu were identified. Additionally, purified YfmK was able to directly acetylate HBsu in vitro, suggesting that it is the second identified protein acetyltransferase in B. subtilis. The authors propose that at least one physiological function of the acetylation of HBsu at key lysine residues is to regulate nucleoid compaction, analogous to the role of histone acetylation in eukaryotes.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: David Dubnau, HBsu, YfmK, YdgE, acetyltransferase family

Valerie J Carabetta, Todd M Greco, Ileana M Cristea, David Dubnau
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2019, 116(9);3752-3757
[PubMed:30808761] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2019
    • B. subtilis can form spores when cells are starved for nutrients. Now, Gray et al. from the lab of Leendert Hamoen describe that non-sporulating B. subtilis cells can survive deep starvation conditions for many months. During this period, cells become tolerant to antibiotics. These starved cells are not dormant but are growing and dividing, albeit with a doubling time close to 4 days. The authors call this extreme slow growth the 'oligotrophic growth state'. The sporulation genes mmgB, ydfR, and yisJ are strongly expressed during oligotrophic growth, whereas the unknown ywpE gene is severely repressed.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Leendert Hamoen, mmgB, ydfR, yisJ, ywpE

Declan A Gray, Gaurav Dugar, Pamela Gamba, Henrik Strahl, Martijs J Jonker, Leendert W Hamoen
Extreme slow growth as alternative strategy to survive deep starvation in bacteria.
Nat Commun: 2019, 10(1);890
[PubMed:30792386] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • January 2019
    • Glyphosate is widely used herbicide that targets the EPSP synthase, an enzyme required for aromatic amino acid biosynthesis. However, the use of glyphosate is highly controversial, and the producing company has been accused to be responsible for the development of cancer in people that have used the compound. Interestingly, despite the wide use of this weed killer, only little is known about its uptake by cells. Now, Wicke et al. from the lab of Fabian Commichau and the iGEM team Göttingen have identified the first glyphosate transporter. Using suppressor screens with strains adapted to high concentrations of glyphosate, the team found that the glutamate transporter GltT does also transport glyphosate. In addition, the GltP protein is a minor glyphosate transporter.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Fabian Commichau, GltT, GltP, AroE, Biosynthesis/ acquisition of amino acids

Dennis Wicke, Lisa M Schulz, Sabine Lentes, Patricia Scholz, Anja Poehlein, Johannes Gibhardt, Rolf Daniel, Till Ischebeck, Fabian M Commichau
Identification of the first glyphosate transporter by genomic adaptation.
Environ Microbiol: 2019, 21(4);1287-1305
[PubMed:30666812] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • December 2018
    • The essential DnaD protein is known to interact with the bacterial master replication initiation protein DnaA at the oriC, but structural and functional details of this interaction are lacking. Now, Martin et al. from the lab of Panos Soultanas demonstrate that both the N- and C-terminal domains of DnaD interact with the N-terminal domain I of DnaA. The study shows that the DnaA-interaction patch of DnaD is distinct from the DNA-interaction patch, suggesting that DnaD can bind simultaneously DNA and DnaA. The data suggest that DnaA and DnaD are working collaboratively in the oriC to locally melt the DNA duplex during replication initiation.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Panos Soultanas, DNA replication, DnaA, DnaD

Eleyna Martin, Huw E L Williams, Matthaios Pitoulias, Daniel Stevens, Charles Winterhalter, Timothy D Craggs, Heath Murray, Mark S Searle, Panos Soultanas
DNA replication initiation in Bacillus subtilis: structural and functional characterization of the essential DnaA-DnaD interaction.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2019, 47(4);2101-2112
[PubMed:30534966] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • November 2018
    • Even though B. subtilis is one of the best-characterized bacterial model organisms, recent proteomics studies identified only about 50% of its theoretical protein count. Now, Ravikumar et al. from the labs of Boris Macek and Ivan Mijakovic generated a comprehensive map of the proteome, phosphoproteome and acetylome of B. subtilis. The study covers 75% of the theoretical proteome (3,159 proteins), detected 1,085 phosphorylation and 4,893 lysine acetylation sites and performed a systematic bioinformatic characterization of the obtained data. A proteogenomic analysis identified 19 novel ORFs. The study provides the most extensive overview of the proteome and post-translational modifications for B. subtilis to date, with insights into functional annotation and evolutionary aspects of the B. subtilis genome.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Ivan Mijakovic, Boris Macek, phosphoproteins, protein modification

Vaishnavi Ravikumar, Nicolas C Nalpas, Viktoria Anselm, Karsten Krug, Maša Lenuzzi, Martin Sebastijan Šestak, Tomislav Domazet-Lošo, Ivan Mijakovic, Boris Macek
In-depth analysis of Bacillus subtilis proteome identifies new ORFs and traces the evolutionary history of modified proteins.
Sci Rep: 2018, 8(1);17246
[PubMed:30467398] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • October 2018
    • Membrane-bound O-acyltransferases (MBOATs) are a superfamily of integral transmembrane enzymes present in all domains of life. In bacteria, they modify protective cell-surface polymers. Although many MBOAT proteins are important drug targets, little is known about their molecular architecture and functional mechanisms. Now, Ma et al. present the crystal structures of DltB, an MBOAT responsible for the D-alanylation of cell-wall teichoic acid, both alone and in complex with the D-alanyl donor protein DltC. The conserved catalytic histidine residue is located at the bottom of a highly conserved extracellular structural funnel and is connected to the intracellular DltC through a narrow tunnel.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: DltB, DltC biosynthesis of teichoic acid

Dan Ma, Zhizhi Wang, Christopher N Merrikh, Kevin S Lang, Peilong Lu, Xin Li, Houra Merrikh, Zihe Rao, Wenqing Xu
Crystal structure of a membrane-bound O-acyltransferase.
Nature: 2018, 562(7726);286-290
[PubMed:30283133] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • September 2018
    • Modification of tRNA anticodons plays a critical role in ensuring accurate translation. N4-acetylcytidine (ac4C) is present at the anticodon first position (position 34) of bacterial elongator tRNAMet. Now, Taniguchi et al. identified Bacillus subtilis ylbM (renamed tmcAL) as a novel gene responsible for ac4C34 formation, determined te structure of the protein and unraveled the unusual the molecular basis of ac4C34 formation. The ΔylbM strain displayed a cold-sensitive phenotype and a strong genetic interaction with TilS, the enzyme responsible for synthesizing lysidine (L) at position 34 of tRNAIle to facilitate AUA decoding.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: YlbM, TilS, tRNA modification/ maturation

Takaaki Taniguchi, Kenjyo Miyauchi, Yuriko Sakaguchi, Seisuke Yamashita, Akiko Soma, Kozo Tomita, Tsutomu Suzuki
Acetate-dependent tRNA acetylation required for decoding fidelity in protein synthesis.
Nat Chem Biol: 2018, 14(11);1010-1020
[PubMed:30150682] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • August 2018
    • Structural maintenance of chromosomes (SMC) complexes shape the genomes of virtually all organisms, but how they function remains incompletely understood. The condensin complexes act along contiguous DNA segments, thus processively enlarging DNA loops. Now, Wang et al. from the lab of David Rudner show that point mutants in the Smc nucleotide-binding domain that impair but do not eliminate ATPase activity not only exhibit delays in de novo loop formation but also have reduced rates of processive loop enlargement. These data provide in vivo evidence that SMC complexes function as loop extruders.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: condensin, David Rudner, Smc, ParB

Xindan Wang, Anna C Hughes, Hugo B Brandão, Benjamin Walker, Carrie Lierz, Jared C Cochran, Martha G Oakley, Andrew C Kruse, David Z Rudner
In Vivo Evidence for ATPase-Dependent DNA Translocation by the Bacillus subtilis SMC Condensin Complex.
Mol Cell: 2018, 71(5);841-847.e5
[PubMed:30100265] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • July 2018
    • Making the right choice for nutrient consumption is essential for bacteria for evolutionary success in a highly competetive environment. Now, Buffing et al. from the lab of Uwe Sauer have studied the regulatory mechanisms that allow dynamic adaptation between non-preferred and preferred carbon sources for Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. The authors show that flux reversal from the preferred glucose to non-preferred pyruvate as the sole carbon source is primarily transcriptionally regulated. In the opposite direction, however, E. coli can reverse its flux instantaneously by means of allosteric regulation, whereas in B. subtilis this flux reversal is transcriptionally regulated.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: metabolism, Uwe Sauer, GlcT, CggR, carbon core metabolism

Marieke F Buffing, Hannes Link, Dimitris Christodoulou, Uwe Sauer
Capacity for instantaneous catabolism of preferred and non-preferred carbon sources in Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis.
Sci Rep: 2018, 8(1);11760
[PubMed:30082753] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • June 2018
    • Individual microbial species are occupy distinct metabolic niches within multi-species communities. However, it has remained largely unclear whether metabolic specialization can similarly occur within a clonal bacterial population. More specifically, it is not clear what functions such specialization could provide and how specialization could be coordinated dynamically. Now, Rosenthal et al. from the lab of Michael Elowitz have shown that exponentially growing B. subtilis cultures divide into distinct interacting metabolic subpopulations. These subpopulations exhibit distinct growth rates and dynamic interconversion between states. Their results show that clonal populations can use metabolic specialization to control the environment through a process of dynamic, environmentally-sensitive state-switching.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: metabolism, Michael Elowitz

Adam Z Rosenthal, Yutao Qi, Sahand Hormoz, Jin Park, Sophia Hsin-Jung Li, Michael B Elowitz
Metabolic interactions between dynamic bacterial subpopulations.
Elife: 2018, 7;
[PubMed:29809139] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • May 2018
    • The YaaT, YlbF, and YmcA proteins form a complex that has been implicated in biofilm formation and the control of the phosphorelay. Now, DeLougheri et al. have shown that this complex acts as a specificity factor for RNase Y. The complex is required for the maturation of mRNAs of polycistronic mRNAs (including the well-studied cggR-gapA operon) and for the degradation of many riboswitch RNAs but not for the processing of small ncRNAs
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: RNase Y, cggR, gapA, riboswitch, Richard Losick

Aaron DeLoughery, Jean-Benoît Lalanne, Richard Losick, Gene-Wei Li
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2018, 115(24);E5585-E5594
[PubMed:29794222] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • April 2018
    • Coexpression of proteins in response to pathway-inducing signals is the founding paradigm of gene regulation. Now, Lalanne et al. have shown that the relative abundance of co-regulated proteins requires precise tuning. Their work demonstrates that many bacterial gene clusters encoding conserved pathways have undergone massive divergence in transcript abundance and architectures via remodeling of internal promoters and terminators. Remarkably, these evolutionary changes are compensated post-transcriptionally to maintain preferred stoichiometry of protein synthesis rates.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: carbon core metabolism, translation

Jean-Benoît Lalanne, James C Taggart, Monica S Guo, Lydia Herzel, Ariel Schieler, Gene-Wei Li
Evolutionary Convergence of Pathway-Specific Enzyme Expression Stoichiometry.
Cell: 2018, 173(3);749-761.e38
[PubMed:29606352] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • March 2018
    • ß-lactam antibiotics interfere with cell wall synthesis, and result in cell death. The study by Kawai et al. from the lab of Jeff Errington shows that under conditions of higher osmolarity cell lysis is delayed. Moreover, the cells are additionally protected by lysozyme under these conditions. Lysozyme promotes the formation of L-forms making the bacteria resistant to ß-lactam antibiotics.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Jeff Errington, cell wall synthesis, penicillin-binding proteins

Yoshikazu Kawai, Katarzyna Mickiewicz, Jeff Errington
Lysozyme Counteracts β-Lactam Antibiotics by Promoting the Emergence of L-Form Bacteria.
Cell: 2018, 172(5);1038-1049.e10
[PubMed:29456081] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2018
    • Mutlu et al. discover a "phenotypic memory" which results from the carry-over of nutrients from the vegetative cell into the spore and which links sporulation timing and spore revival. The authors suggest that such an intrinsically generated memory leads to a tradeoff between spore quantity and spore quality, which could drive the emergence of complex microbial traits.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: sporulation, Ilka Bischofs, Ald

Alper Mutlu, Stephanie Trauth, Marika Ziesack, Katja Nagler, Jan-Philip Bergeest, Karl Rohr, Nils Becker, Thomas Höfer, Ilka B Bischofs
Phenotypic memory in Bacillus subtilis links dormancy entry and exit by a spore quantity-quality tradeoff.
Nat Commun: 2018, 9(1);69
[PubMed:29302032] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • January 2018
    • Rojas et al. discover an elegant feedback mechanism ensuring balanced membrane and cell-wall growth in Bacillus subtilis through mechanically induced electrical depolarization that transiently halts wall synthesis.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: cell wall synthesis, cell shape, Mbl

Enrique R Rojas, Kerwyn Casey Huang, Julie A Theriot
Homeostatic Cell Growth Is Accomplished Mechanically through Membrane Tension Inhibition of Cell-Wall Synthesis.
Cell Syst: 2017, 5(6);578-590.e6
[PubMed:29203279] [] [DOI] (P p)


Jason M Peters, Alexandre Colavin, Handuo Shi, Tomasz L Czarny, Matthew H Larson, Spencer Wong, John S Hawkins, Candy H S Lu, Byoung-Mo Koo, Elizabeth Marta, Anthony L Shiver, Evan H Whitehead, Jonathan S Weissman, Eric D Brown, Lei S Qi, Kerwyn Casey Huang, Carol A Gross
A Comprehensive, CRISPR-based Functional Analysis of Essential Genes in Bacteria.
Cell: 2016, 165(6);1493-1506
[PubMed:27238023] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2016
    • Recently, cell-cell communication by so-called nanotubes has been reported. Now, two papers from the lab of Sigal Ben-Yehuda implicate the phosphodiesterase YmdB in nanotube formation, intercellular molecular trade, and in the development of B. subtilis colonies.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Sigal Ben-Yehuda, YmdB

Gyanendra P Dubey, Ganesh Babu Malli Mohan, Anna Dubrovsky, Triana Amen, Shai Tsipshtein, Alex Rouvinski, Alex Rosenberg, Daniel Kaganovich, Eilon Sherman, Ohad Medalia, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
Architecture and Characteristics of Bacterial Nanotubes.
Dev Cell: 2016, 36(4);453-61
[PubMed:26906740] [] [DOI] (I p)

Gideon Mamou, Ganesh Babu Malli Mohan, Alex Rouvinski, Alex Rosenberg, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
Early Developmental Program Shapes Colony Morphology in Bacteria.
Cell Rep: 2016, 14(8);1850-7
[PubMed:26904951] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • November 2015
    • Bacteria contain many classes of ion channels, but their functions have largely remained elusive. Now, Prindle et al. from the lab of Gürol M. Süel have shown that the YugO potassium ion channel is used to propagate electrical signals throughout Bacillus subtilis biofilms in a long-range process that coordinates the metabolic responses of the community.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Gürol M. Süel, YugO, biofilm formation

Arthur Prindle, Jintao Liu, Munehiro Asally, San Ly, Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo, Gürol M Süel
Ion channels enable electrical communication in bacterial communities.
Nature: 2015, 527(7576);59-63
[PubMed:26503040] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • See comments on this issue:

Cláudio Nunes-Alves
Biofilms: Electrifying long-range signalling.
Nat Rev Microbiol: 2015, 13(12);737
[PubMed:26548916] [] [DOI] (I p)

Sarah D Beagle, Steve W Lockless
Microbiology: Electrical signalling goes bacterial.
Nature: 2015, 527(7576);44-5
[PubMed:26503058] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jintao Liu, Arthur Prindle, Jacqueline Humphries, Marçal Gabalda-Sagarra, Munehiro Asally, Dong-yeon D Lee, San Ly, Jordi Garcia-Ojalvo, Gürol M Süel
Metabolic co-dependence gives rise to collective oscillations within biofilms.
Nature: 2015, 523(7562);550-4
[PubMed:26200335] [] [DOI] (I p)

Elizabeth A Libby, Lindsie A Goss, Jonathan Dworkin
The Eukaryotic-Like Ser/Thr Kinase PrkC Regulates the Essential WalRK Two-Component System in Bacillus subtilis.
PLoS Genet: 2015, 11(6);e1005275
[PubMed:26102633] [] [DOI] (I e)

Sandro F F Pereira, Ruben L Gonzalez, Jonathan Dworkin
Protein synthesis during cellular quiescence is inhibited by phosphorylation of a translational elongation factor.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2015, 112(25);E3274-81
[PubMed:26056311] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • June 2015
    • The precise quantification of the dynamic changes in metabolite concentrations is a major challenge in metabolomics. Two new studies make use of the combination of metablite-sensitive riboswitches with an in vitro selected Spinach aptamer, which binds a pro-fluorescent, cell-permeable small molecule mimic of the GFP chromophore. Fluorescence can then be determined as a measure of the concentration of the metabolite that binds the riboswitch. The present studies use this approach for the essential second messenger c-di-AMP as well as for S-adenosyl-methionine and guanine.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: riboswitch, metabolism, methods

Colleen A Kellenberger, Chen Chen, Aaron T Whiteley, Daniel A Portnoy, Ming C Hammond
RNA-Based Fluorescent Biosensors for Live Cell Imaging of Second Messenger Cyclic di-AMP.
J Am Chem Soc: 2015, 137(20);6432-5
[PubMed:25965978] [] [DOI] (I p)

Mingxu You, Jacob L Litke, Samie R Jaffrey
Imaging metabolite dynamics in living cells using a Spinach-based riboswitch.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2015, 112(21);E2756-65
[PubMed:25964329] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • Mai 2015
    • In B. subtilis, ribosomal stalling is used to regulate the expression of the membrane protein biogenesis factor YidC2. This is achieved by stalling during translation of the MifM leader peptide. In the absence of structures of Gram-positive bacterial ribosomes, a molecular basis for species-specific stalling has remained unclear. Sohmen et al. have determined the structure of the MifM-stalled 70S ribosome and have unraveled a network of interactions between MifM and the ribosomal tunnel, which induces translational arrest. Complementary genetic analyses identify a single amino acid within ribosomal protein L22 that dictates the species specificity of the stalling event.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: translation, ribosome, yidC2, MifM, L22

Daniel Sohmen, Shinobu Chiba, Naomi Shimokawa-Chiba, C Axel Innis, Otto Berninghausen, Roland Beckmann, Koreaki Ito, Daniel N Wilson
Structure of the Bacillus subtilis 70S ribosome reveals the basis for species-specific stalling.
Nat Commun: 2015, 6;6941
[PubMed:25903689] [] [DOI] (I e)

Ian R Price, Ahmed Gaballa, Fang Ding, John D Helmann, Ailong Ke
Mn(2+)-sensing mechanisms of yybP-ykoY orphan riboswitches.
Mol Cell: 2015, 57(6);1110-1123
[PubMed:25794619] [] [DOI] (I p)

Michael Dambach, Melissa Sandoval, Taylor B Updegrove, Vivek Anantharaman, L Aravind, Lauren S Waters, Gisela Storz
The ubiquitous yybP-ykoY riboswitch is a manganese-responsive regulatory element.
Mol Cell: 2015, 57(6);1099-1109
[PubMed:25794618] [] [DOI] (I p)

Maria A Schumacher, Naga Babu Chinnam, Bonnie Cuthbert, Nam K Tonthat, Travis Whitfill
Structures of regulatory machinery reveal novel molecular mechanisms controlling B. subtilis nitrogen homeostasis.
Genes Dev: 2015, 29(4);451-64
[PubMed:25691471] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • February 2015
    • To proliferate efficiently, cells must co-ordinate cell division with chromosome segregation. In B. subtilis, the nucleoid occlusion protein Noc binds to specific DNA sequences scattered around the chromosome and helps to protect genomic integrity by coupling the initiation of division to the progression of chromosome replication and segregation. However, how it inhibits division has remained unclear. Now, Adams et al. from the lab of Jeff Errington demonstrate that Noc associates with the cell membrane via an N-terminal amphipathic helix. Importantly, the membrane-binding affinity of this helix is weak and requires the assembly of nucleoprotein complexes, thus establishing a mechanism for DNA-dependent activation of Noc. Furthermore, division inhibition by Noc requires recruitment of Noc binding site DNA to the cell membrane and is dependent on its ability to bind DNA and membrane simultaneously. The results suggest a simple model in which the formation of large membrane-associated nucleoprotein complexes physically occludes assembly of the division machinery.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Noc, Jeff Errington, cell division, chromosome segregation

David William Adams, Ling Juan Wu, Jeff Errington
Nucleoid occlusion protein Noc recruits DNA to the bacterial cell membrane.
EMBO J: 2015, 34(4);491-501
[PubMed:25568309] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • January 2015
    • Proteases are crucial for the maintenance of protein integrity, but also for controlling the cellular levels of specific proteins. For the LonA protease, it has so far been unknown how the protease can specifically target a selected protein as degradation target. Now, Mukherjee et al. from the lab of Daniel Kearns have studied the degradation of SwrA, a master regulator of flagellar biosynthesis by LonA. They found that the adaptor protein SmiA is required for the productive degradation of SwrA by LonA. This regulatory mechanism is important to prevent hyperflagellation in liquid media.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: LonA, SwrA, SmiA, proteolysis, Daniel Kearns

Sampriti Mukherjee, Anna C Bree, Jing Liu, Joyce E Patrick, Peter Chien, Daniel B Kearns
Adaptor-mediated Lon proteolysis restricts Bacillus subtilis hyperflagellation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2015, 112(1);250-5
[PubMed:25538299] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • December 2014
    • Cell division is facilitated by a molecular machine - the divisome - that assembles at mid-cell in dividing cells. The formation of the cytokinetic Z-ring by FtsZ is regulated by several factors, including the divisome component EzrA. Cleverley et al. now describe the structure of the cytoplasmic domain of EzrA which comprises five linear repeats of an unusual triple helical bundle. The EzrA structure is bent into a semicircle, providing the protein with the potential to interact at both N- and C-termini with adjacent membrane-bound divisome components. The individual repeats, and their linear organization, are homologous to the spectrin proteins that connect actin filaments to the membrane in eukaryotes, and EzrA is proposed to be the founding member of the bacterial spectrin family.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: EzrA, FtsZ, divisome, cell division, Rick Lewis

Robert M Cleverley, Jeffrey R Barrett, Arnaud Baslé, Nhat Khai Bui, Lorraine Hewitt, Alexandra Solovyova, Zhi-Qiang Xu, Richard A Daniel, Nicholas E Dixon, Elizabeth J Harry, Aaron J Oakley, Waldemar Vollmer, Richard J Lewis
Structure and function of a spectrin-like regulator of bacterial cytokinesis.
Nat Commun: 2014, 5;5421
[PubMed:25403286] [] [DOI] (I e)

  • November 2014
    • Integration of prophages into coding sequences of the host genome results in loss of function of the interrupted gene. In B. subtilis 168, the SP-beta prophage is inserted into a uncharacterized spore polysaccharide synthesis gene, spsM. In vegetative cells, the lytic cycle is induced in response to DNA damage. In the process, the SP-beta prophage is excised from the genome to form phage particles. Now, Abe et al. demonstrate that the excision of the SP-beta prophage also occurs systematically during sporulation to reconstitute a functional spsM gene from the incomplete yodU and ypqP pseudogenes. Because phage excision is limited to the mother cell genome, and does not occur in the forespore genome, the SP-beta prophage is an integral part of the spore genome. Thus, after germination, the SP-beta prophage is propagated vertically to the progeny. The authors suggest their results indicate that the two pathways of SP-beta prophage excision support both the phage life cycle and normal sporulation of the host cells.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: SP-beta prophage, sporulation, yodU, ypqP, SprA, SprB

Kimihiro Abe, Yuta Kawano, Keito Iwamoto, Kenji Arai, Yuki Maruyama, Patrick Eichenberger, Tsutomu Sato
Developmentally-regulated excision of the SPβ prophage reconstitutes a gene required for spore envelope maturation in Bacillus subtilis.
PLoS Genet: 2014, 10(10);e1004636
[PubMed:25299644] [] [DOI] (I e)

    • See also:

Pilar Sanchez-Vizuete, Dominique Le Coq, Arnaud Bridier, Jean-Marie Herry, Stéphane Aymerich, Romain Briandet
Identification of ypqP as a New Bacillus subtilis biofilm determinant that mediates the protection of Staphylococcus aureus against antimicrobial agents in mixed-species communities.
Appl Environ Microbiol: 2015, 81(1);109-18
[PubMed:25326298] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • October 2014
    • Drug exporters help the bacterial cell to cope with potentially toxic compounds. The expression of the transporters is usually switched on in response to the transported drugs. Reilman et al. have studied the regulation of the BmrC/BmrD multidrug ABC transporter in B. subtilis. They report that the induction of bmrC-bmrD depends on the translation of a small leader peptide, BmrB. This is the first report on a ribosome-mediated transcriptional attenuation mechanism in the control of a multidrug ABC transporter.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: BmrB, ABC transporter, bmrC-bmrD, AbrB

Ewoud Reilman, Ruben A T Mars, Jan Maarten van Dijl, Emma L Denham
The multidrug ABC transporter BmrC/BmrD of Bacillus subtilis is regulated via a ribosome-mediated transcriptional attenuation mechanism.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2014, 42(18);11393-407
[PubMed:25217586] [] [DOI] (I p)

Aiming Ren, Dinshaw J Patel
c-di-AMP binds the ydaO riboswitch in two pseudo-symmetry-related pockets.
Nat Chem Biol: 2014, 10(9);780-6
[PubMed:25086509] [] [DOI] (I p)

Ang Gao, Alexander Serganov
Structural insights into recognition of c-di-AMP by the ydaO riboswitch.
Nat Chem Biol: 2014, 10(9);787-92
[PubMed:25086507] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • August 2014
    • Calcium is important for the activity of many many enzymes, and its cellular homeostasis is therefore important. Now, the previously unknown YetJ protein has been identified as a pH-sensitive calcium leak that allows reducing the inracellular calcium concentration. Chang et al. report the structure of YetJ and explain how two conserved Asp residues sense changes in the pH.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Metal ion homeostasis (K, Na, Ca, Mg), YetJ

Yanqi Chang, Renato Bruni, Brian Kloss, Zahra Assur, Edda Kloppmann, Burkhard Rost, Wayne A Hendrickson, Qun Liu
Structural basis for a pH-sensitive calcium leak across membranes.
Science: 2014, 344(6188);1131-5
[PubMed:24904158] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • July 2014
    • T-boxes are regulatory mRNA elements which sense amino acid availability and control the expression of genes encoding aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases and biosynthetic enzymes. Sensing is thought to occur by the interaction of the uncharged tRNA with the T-box thus preventing the formation of a transcription terminator. It has however, not been known whether this regulation involves proteins. Now, Zhang and Ferre-D'Amare show that the B. subtilis glyQ-glyS T-box functions independently of any tRNA-binding protein. They demonstrate that the T-box detects the molecular volume of tRNA 3'-substituents.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: T-box, glyQ

Jinwei Zhang, Adrian R Ferré-D'Amaré
Direct evaluation of tRNA aminoacylation status by the T-box riboswitch using tRNA-mRNA stacking and steric readout.
Mol Cell: 2014, 55(1);148-55
[PubMed:24954903] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • June 2014
    • Transcription by RNA polymerase is interrupted by pauses that play diverse regulatory roles. However, the determinants of pauses in vivo and their distribution throughout the bacterial genome remain unknown. Using nascent transcript sequencing, Larson et al. identified a 16-nucleotide consensus pause sequence. The pauses result from RNA polymerase-nucleic acid interactions that inhibit next-nucleotide addition. The consensus sequence is enriched at translation start sites in Bacillus subtilis.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: RNA polymerase, transcription, translation

Matthew H Larson, Rachel A Mooney, Jason M Peters, Tricia Windgassen, Dhananjaya Nayak, Carol A Gross, Steven M Block, William J Greenleaf, Robert Landick, Jonathan S Weissman
A pause sequence enriched at translation start sites drives transcription dynamics in vivo.
Science: 2014, 344(6187);1042-7
[PubMed:24789973] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • See a comment on this issue:

Jeffrey W Roberts
Molecular biology. Molecular basis of transcription pausing.
Science: 2014, 344(6189);1226-7
[PubMed:24926002] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jan Muntel, Vincent Fromion, Anne Goelzer, Sandra Maaβ, Ulrike Mäder, Knut Büttner, Michael Hecker, Dörte Becher
Comprehensive absolute quantification of the cytosolic proteome of Bacillus subtilis by data independent, parallel fragmentation in liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC/MS(E)).
Mol Cell Proteomics: 2014, 13(4);1008-19
[PubMed:24696501] [] [DOI] (I p)

Neville S Gilhooly, Mark S Dillingham
Recombination hotspots attenuate the coupled ATPase and translocase activities of an AddAB-type helicase-nuclease.
Nucleic Acids Res: 2014, 42(9);5633-43
[PubMed:24682829] [] [DOI] (I p)

Wojciech W Krajewski, Xin Fu, Martin Wilkinson, Nora B Cronin, Mark S Dillingham, Dale B Wigley
Structural basis for translocation by AddAB helicase-nuclease and its arrest at χ sites.
Nature: 2014, 508(7496);416-9
[PubMed:24670664] [] [DOI] (I p)

Laura Hobley, Sok Ho Kim, Yukari Maezato, Susan Wyllie, Alan H Fairlamb, Nicola R Stanley-Wall, Anthony J Michael
Norspermidine is not a self-produced trigger for biofilm disassembly.
Cell: 2014, 156(4);844-54
[PubMed:24529384] [] [DOI] (I p)

Anna Oslizlo, Polonca Stefanic, Iztok Dogsa, Ines Mandic-Mulec
Private link between signal and response in Bacillus subtilis quorum sensing.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2014, 111(4);1586-91
[PubMed:24425772] [] [DOI] (I p)

Yang Fu, Kaila Deiorio-Haggar, Mark W Soo, Michelle M Meyer
Bacterial RNA motif in the 5' UTR of rpsF interacts with an S6:S18 complex.
RNA: 2014, 20(2);168-76
[PubMed:24310371] [] [DOI] (I p)


Markus Mastny, Alexander Heuck, Robert Kurzbauer, Anja Heiduk, Prisca Boisguerin, Rudolf Volkmer, Michael Ehrmann, Christopher D A Rodrigues, David Z Rudner, Tim Clausen
CtpB assembles a gated protease tunnel regulating cell-cell signaling during spore formation in Bacillus subtilis.
Cell: 2013, 155(3);647-58
[PubMed:24243021] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • November 2013
    • Cyclic di-AMP is an essential second messenger in B. subtilis and other Gram-positive bacteria. This molecule has been discovered only in 2008, and a lot of work has recently been devoted to the investigation of its function. This month, Nelson et al. from the lab of Ronald Breaker discovered that c-di-AMP binds to the ydaO riboswitch. This is extremely interesting since the molecule does also bind the KtrA potassium transporter. The ktrA-ktrB operon is also controlled by a ydaO riboswitch. Thus c-di-AMP is the first signalling nucleotide that controls a biological process by binding both a protein and the encoding mRNA.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Ronald Breaker, ydaO riboswitch, KtrA, ydaO, metabolism of signalling nucleotides

James W Nelson, Narasimhan Sudarsan, Kazuhiro Furukawa, Zasha Weinberg, Joy X Wang, Ronald R Breaker
Riboswitches in eubacteria sense the second messenger c-di-AMP.
Nat Chem Biol: 2013, 9(12);834-9
[PubMed:24141192] [] [DOI] (I p)

    • Additional papers on c-di-AMP from 2013

Rebecca M Corrigan, Ivan Campeotto, Tharshika Jeganathan, Kevin G Roelofs, Vincent T Lee, Angelika Gründling
Systematic identification of conserved bacterial c-di-AMP receptor proteins.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2013, 110(22);9084-9
[PubMed:23671116] [] [DOI] (I p)

Felix M P Mehne, Katrin Gunka, Hinnerk Eilers, Christina Herzberg, Volkhard Kaever, Jörg Stülke
Cyclic di-AMP homeostasis in bacillus subtilis: both lack and high level accumulation of the nucleotide are detrimental for cell growth.
J Biol Chem: 2013, 288(3);2004-17
[PubMed:23192352] [] [DOI] (I p)

Bin Liu, William K Eliason, Thomas A Steitz
Structure of a helicase-helicase loader complex reveals insights into the mechanism of bacterial primosome assembly.
Nat Commun: 2013, 4;2495
[PubMed:24048025] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • September 2013
    • Biofilms of B. subtilis consist of cells in a matrix made up of extracellular polysaccharides, the amyloid-like TasA protein, and the hydrophobic protein BslA. Now, Hobley et al. from the lab of Nicola Stanley-Wall determined the structure of BslA and found that the protein has an extremely hydrophobic cap domain that acts like a raincoat for the biofilm. The authors suggest that BslA is a bacterial hydrophobin.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: Nicola Stanley-Wall, biofilm formation, BslA

Laura Hobley, Adam Ostrowski, Francesco V Rao, Keith M Bromley, Michael Porter, Alan R Prescott, Cait E MacPhee, Daan M F van Aalten, Nicola R Stanley-Wall
BslA is a self-assembling bacterial hydrophobin that coats the Bacillus subtilis biofilm.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2013, 110(33);13600-5
[PubMed:23904481] [] [DOI] (I p)

    • A comment on this paper:

Ursula Hofer
Bacterial physiology: a raincoat for Bacillus subtilis.
Nat Rev Microbiol: 2013, 11(10);660-1
[PubMed:23979433] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • August 2013
    • In cells, the concentration of ribonucleotides by far exceeds that of deoxyribonucleotides. This poses problems since the DNA polymerase incorporates one rNTP every 2.3 kb during chromosome replication. Now, Yao et al. investigated how these misincorporations are repaired. They demonstrate that this repair is initiated by RNase HII that nicks DNA at single rNMP residues to initiate replacement with dNMPs.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: DNA replication, DNA repair, rnhB, rnhC, mutS, mutL

Nina Y Yao, Jeremy W Schroeder, Olga Yurieva, Lyle A Simmons, Mike E O'Donnell
Cost of rNTP/dNTP pool imbalance at the replication fork.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2013, 110(32);12942-7
[PubMed:23882084] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • July 2013
    • Ca2+ efflux by Ca2+ cation antiporter (CaCA) proteins is important for maintenance of Ca2+ homeostasis across the cell membrane. Now, Wu et al. determined the structure of the B. subtilis Ca2+/H+ antiporter protein ChaA. By structural and mutational analyses, they establish structural bases for mechanisms of Ca2+/H+ exchange and its pH regulation. Moreover, this work also sheds light on the evolutionary adaptation to different energy modes in the CaCA protein family.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: ChaA, membrane proteins, metal ion homeostasis (K, Na, Ca, Mg)

Mousheng Wu, Shuilong Tong, Sandro Waltersperger, Kay Diederichs, Meitian Wang, Lei Zheng
Crystal structure of Ca2+/H+ antiporter protein YfkE reveals the mechanisms of Ca2+ efflux and its pH regulation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2013, 110(28);11367-72
[PubMed:23798403] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • June 2013
    • DNA transfer across membranes is important in many fundamental processes. However, the molecular mechanisms behind this transport are only poorly understood. Now, Fiche et al. analysed the assembly and molecular architecture of the SpoIIIE DNA translocation complex. This study reveals that in contrast to a previous model, DNA transfer occurs through an aqueous DNA-conducting pore that could be structurally maintained by the divisional machinery, with SpoIIIE acting as a checkpoint preventing membrane fusion until completion of chromosome segregation.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: sporulation, SpoIIIE, DNA condensation/ segregation

Jean-Bernard Fiche, Diego I Cattoni, Nele Diekmann, Julio Mateos Langerak, Caroline Clerte, Catherine A Royer, Emmanuel Margeat, Thierry Doan, Marcelo Nöllmann
Recruitment, assembly, and molecular architecture of the SpoIIIE DNA pump revealed by superresolution microscopy.
PLoS Biol: 2013, 11(5);e1001557
[PubMed:23667326] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • May 2013
    • Paul et al. demonstrate that the orientation of the genes on the chromosome has a significant impact on their evolution: Gene encoded on the lagging strand evolve faster than those on the leading strand. This faster evolution is caused by collisions between the DNA replication and transcription machineries that result in DNA damage and subsequent fixation of errors as mutations. Importantly, essential genes are strongly underrepresented on the lagging strand thus providing a "built-in" protection of the encoded important proteins against possible deleterious mutations.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: transcription, DNA replication, essential genes

Sandip Paul, Samuel Million-Weaver, Sujay Chattopadhyay, Evgeni Sokurenko, Houra Merrikh
Accelerated gene evolution through replication-transcription conflicts.
Nature: 2013, 495(7442);512-5
[PubMed:23538833] [] [DOI] (I p)

Romain Mercier, Yoshikazu Kawai, Jeff Errington
Excess membrane synthesis drives a primitive mode of cell proliferation.
Cell: 2013, 152(5);997-1007
[PubMed:23452849] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • March 2013
    • The mechanism of membrane fission in bacteria has been a long-standing enigma. Now, Doan et al. from the lab of David Rudner demonstrate how the FisB protein (previously YunB) mediates membrane fission during sporulation This activity of FisB is based on its ability to bind to lipids, specifically to cardiolipin.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: David Rudner, FisB, sporulation

Thierry Doan, Jeff Coleman, Kathleen A Marquis, Alex J Meeske, Briana M Burton, Erdem Karatekin, David Z Rudner
FisB mediates membrane fission during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
Genes Dev: 2013, 27(3);322-34
[PubMed:23388828] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • See also:

Irene S Tan, Kumaran S Ramamurthi
Membrane remodeling: FisB will do in a pinch.
Curr Biol: 2013, 23(6);R251-3
[PubMed:23518060] [] [DOI] (I p)

Sylvain Durand, Laetitia Gilet, Ciarán Condon
The essential function of B. subtilis RNase III is to silence foreign toxin genes.
PLoS Genet: 2012, 8(12);e1003181
[PubMed:23300471] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • A comment on this paper:

Fabian M Commichau, Jörg Stülke
A mystery unraveled: essentiality of RNase III in Bacillus subtilis is caused by resident prophages.
PLoS Genet: 2012, 8(12);e1003199
[PubMed:23300472] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • See also:

Sylvain Durand, Natalie Jahn, Ciarán Condon, Sabine Brantl
Type I toxin-antitoxin systems in Bacillus subtilis.
RNA Biol: 2012, 9(12);1491-7
[PubMed:23059907] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jean-Philippe Castaing, Attila Nagy, Vivek Anantharaman, L Aravind, Kumaran S Ramamurthi
ATP hydrolysis by a domain related to translation factor GTPases drives polymerization of a static bacterial morphogenetic protein.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2013, 110(2);E151-60
[PubMed:23267091] [] [DOI] (I p)


  • December 2012
    • Kim et al. show how the ATP hydrolysis controls the global conformation of the SecA translocase and drives protein secretion. The intricate network of structural interactions, which couple local electrostatic changes during ATP hydrolysis to global conformational and dynamic changes in SecA, form the foundation of the allosteric mechanochemistry that efficiently harnesses the chemical energy stored in ATP to drive complex mechanical processes.
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: SecA, protein secretion

Dorothy M Kim, Haiyan Zheng, Yuanpeng J Huang, Gaetano T Montelione, John F Hunt
ATPase active-site electrostatic interactions control the global conformation of the 100 kDa SecA translocase.
J Am Chem Soc: 2013, 135(8);2999-3010
[PubMed:23167435] [] [DOI] (I p)

Peter Y Watson, Martha J Fedor
The ydaO motif is an ATP-sensing riboswitch in Bacillus subtilis.
Nat Chem Biol: 2012, 8(12);963-5
[PubMed:23086297] [] [DOI] (I p)

Germán Plata, Tobias Fuhrer, Tzu-Lin Hsiao, Uwe Sauer, Dennis Vitkup
Global probabilistic annotation of metabolic networks enables enzyme discovery.
Nat Chem Biol: 2012, 8(10);848-54
[PubMed:22960854] [] [DOI] (I p)

Shinobu Chiba, Koreaki Ito
Multisite ribosomal stalling: a unique mode of regulatory nascent chain action revealed for MifM.
Mol Cell: 2012, 47(6);863-72
[PubMed:22864117] [] [DOI] (I p)

Ali Houry, Michel Gohar, Julien Deschamps, Ekaterina Tischenko, Stéphane Aymerich, Alexandra Gruss, Romain Briandet
Bacterial swimmers that infiltrate and take over the biofilm matrix.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012, 109(32);13088-93
[PubMed:22773813] [] [DOI] (I p)

Angel E Dago, Alexander Schug, Andrea Procaccini, James A Hoch, Martin Weigt, Hendrik Szurmant
Structural basis of histidine kinase autophosphorylation deduced by integrating genomics, molecular dynamics, and mutagenesis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012, 109(26);E1733-42
[PubMed:22670053] [] [DOI] (I p)

Laura Hobley, Sok Ho Kim, Yukari Maezato, Susan Wyllie, Alan H Fairlamb, Nicola R Stanley-Wall, Anthony J Michael
Norspermidine is not a self-produced trigger for biofilm disassembly.
Cell: 2014, 156(4);844-54
[PubMed:24529384] [] [DOI] (I p)

Ilana Kolodkin-Gal, Shugeng Cao, Liraz Chai, Thomas Böttcher, Roberto Kolter, Jon Clardy, Richard Losick
A self-produced trigger for biofilm disassembly that targets exopolysaccharide.
Cell: 2012, 149(3);684-92
[PubMed:22541437] [] [DOI] (I p)

Alexander K W Elsholz, Kürsad Turgay, Stephan Michalik, Bernd Hessling, Katrin Gronau, Dan Oertel, Ulrike Mäder, Jörg Bernhardt, Dörte Becher, Michael Hecker, Ulf Gerth
Global impact of protein arginine phosphorylation on the physiology of Bacillus subtilis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012, 109(19);7451-6
[PubMed:22517742] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jeffrey Meisner, Tatsuya Maehigashi, Ingemar André, Christine M Dunham, Charles P Moran
Structure of the basal components of a bacterial transporter.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012, 109(14);5446-51
[PubMed:22431613] [] [DOI] (I p)

Vladimir M Levdikov, Elena V Blagova, Amanda McFeat, Mark J Fogg, Keith S Wilson, Anthony J Wilkinson
Structure of components of an intercellular channel complex in sporulating Bacillus subtilis.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2012, 109(14);5441-5
[PubMed:22431604] [] [DOI] (I p)

Pierre Nicolas, Ulrike Mäder, Etienne Dervyn, Tatiana Rochat, Aurélie Leduc, Nathalie Pigeonneau, Elena Bidnenko, Elodie Marchadier, Mark Hoebeke, Stéphane Aymerich, Dörte Becher, Paola Bisicchia, Eric Botella, Olivier Delumeau, Geoff Doherty, Emma L Denham, Mark J Fogg, Vincent Fromion, Anne Goelzer, Annette Hansen, Elisabeth Härtig, Colin R Harwood, Georg Homuth, Hanne Jarmer, Matthieu Jules, Edda Klipp, Ludovic Le Chat, François Lecointe, Peter Lewis, Wolfram Liebermeister, Anika March, Ruben A T Mars, Priyanka Nannapaneni, David Noone, Susanne Pohl, Bernd Rinn, Frank Rügheimer, Praveen K Sappa, Franck Samson, Marc Schaffer, Benno Schwikowski, Leif Steil, Jörg Stülke, Thomas Wiegert, Kevin M Devine, Anthony J Wilkinson, Jan Maarten van Dijl, Michael Hecker, Uwe Völker, Philippe Bessières, Philippe Noirot
Condition-dependent transcriptome reveals high-level regulatory architecture in Bacillus subtilis.
Science: 2012, 335(6072);1103-6
[PubMed:22383849] [] [DOI] (I p)

Joerg Martin Buescher, Wolfram Liebermeister, Matthieu Jules, Markus Uhr, Jan Muntel, Eric Botella, Bernd Hessling, Roelco Jacobus Kleijn, Ludovic Le Chat, François Lecointe, Ulrike Mäder, Pierre Nicolas, Sjouke Piersma, Frank Rügheimer, Dörte Becher, Philippe Bessieres, Elena Bidnenko, Emma L Denham, Etienne Dervyn, Kevin M Devine, Geoff Doherty, Samuel Drulhe, Liza Felicori, Mark J Fogg, Anne Goelzer, Annette Hansen, Colin R Harwood, Michael Hecker, Sebastian Hubner, Claus Hultschig, Hanne Jarmer, Edda Klipp, Aurélie Leduc, Peter Lewis, Frank Molina, Philippe Noirot, Sabine Peres, Nathalie Pigeonneau, Susanne Pohl, Simon Rasmussen, Bernd Rinn, Marc Schaffer, Julian Schnidder, Benno Schwikowski, Jan Maarten Van Dijl, Patrick Veiga, Sean Walsh, Anthony J Wilkinson, Jörg Stelling, Stéphane Aymerich, Uwe Sauer
Global network reorganization during dynamic adaptations of Bacillus subtilis metabolism.
Science: 2012, 335(6072);1099-103
[PubMed:22383848] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • A comment on these papers:

Guilhem Chalancon, Kai Kruse, M Madan Babu
Cell biology. Reconfiguring regulation.
Science: 2012, 335(6072);1050-1
[PubMed:22383834] [] [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] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • A comment on this paper:

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

Einat Segev, Yoav Smith, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
RNA dynamics in aging bacterial spores.
Cell: 2012, 148(1-2);139-49
[PubMed:22209493] [] [DOI] (I p)


Gert Bange, Nico Kümmerer, Przemyslaw Grudnik, Robert Lindner, Georg Petzold, Dieter Kressler, Ed Hurt, Klemens Wild, Irmgard Sinning
Structural basis for the molecular evolution of SRP-GTPase activation by protein.
Nat Struct Mol Biol: 2011, 18(12);1376-80
[PubMed:22056770] [] [DOI] (I e)

James C W Locke, Jonathan W Young, Michelle Fontes, María Jesús Hernández Jiménez, Michael B Elowitz
Stochastic pulse regulation in bacterial stress response.
Science: 2011, 334(6054);366-9
[PubMed:21979936] [] [DOI] (I p)

Jamie Richards, Quansheng Liu, Olivier Pellegrini, Helena Celesnik, Shiyi Yao, David H Bechhofer, Ciarán Condon, Joel G Belasco
An RNA pyrophosphohydrolase triggers 5'-exonucleolytic degradation of mRNA in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol Cell: 2011, 43(6);940-9
[PubMed:21925382] [] [DOI] (I p)

Gintaras Deikus, David H Bechhofer
5' End-independent RNase J1 endonuclease cleavage of Bacillus subtilis model RNA.
J Biol Chem: 2011, 286(40);34932-40
[PubMed:21862575] [] [DOI] (I p)

Patrice Bruscella, Karen Shahbabian, Soumaya Laalami, Harald Putzer
RNase Y is responsible for uncoupling the expression of translation factor IF3 from that of the ribosomal proteins L35 and L20 in Bacillus subtilis.
Mol Microbiol: 2011, 81(6);1526-41
[PubMed:21843271] [] [DOI] (I p)

Martin Lehnik-Habrink, Marc Schaffer, Ulrike Mäder, Christine Diethmaier, Christina Herzberg, Jörg Stülke
RNA processing in Bacillus subtilis: identification of targets of the essential RNase Y.
Mol Microbiol: 2011, 81(6);1459-73
[PubMed:21815947] [] [DOI] (I p)

Martin Lehnik-Habrink, Joseph Newman, Fabian M Rothe, Alexandra S Solovyova, Cecilia Rodrigues, Christina Herzberg, Fabian M Commichau, Richard J Lewis, Jörg Stülke
RNase Y in Bacillus subtilis: a Natively disordered protein that is the functional equivalent of RNase E from Escherichia coli.
J Bacteriol: 2011, 193(19);5431-41
[PubMed:21803996] [] [DOI] (I p)

Bui Khanh Chi, Katrin Gronau, Ulrike Mäder, Bernd Hessling, Dörte Becher, Haike Antelmann
S-bacillithiolation protects against hypochlorite stress in Bacillus subtilis as revealed by transcriptomics and redox proteomics.
Mol Cell Proteomics: 2011, 10(11);M111.009506
[PubMed:21749987] [] [DOI] (I p)

Ethan C Garner, Remi Bernard, Wenqin Wang, Xiaowei Zhuang, David Z Rudner, Tim Mitchison
Coupled, circumferential motions of the cell wall synthesis machinery and MreB filaments in B. subtilis.
Science: 2011, 333(6039);222-5
[PubMed:21636745] [] [DOI] (I p)

Julia Domínguez-Escobar, Arnaud Chastanet, Alvaro H Crevenna, Vincent Fromion, Roland Wedlich-Söldner, Rut Carballido-López
Processive movement of MreB-associated cell wall biosynthetic complexes in bacteria.
Science: 2011, 333(6039);225-8
[PubMed:21636744] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • A comment on these papers:

Andrew Jermy
Bacterial physiology: MreB takes a back seat.
Nat Rev Microbiol: 2011, 9(8);560-1
[PubMed:21725336] [] [DOI] (I e)

Yaara Oppenheimer-Shaanan, Ezequiel Wexselblatt, Jehoshua Katzhendler, Eylon Yavin, Sigal Ben-Yehuda
c-di-AMP reports DNA integrity during sporulation in Bacillus subtilis.
EMBO Rep: 2011, 12(6);594-601
[PubMed:21566650] [] [DOI] (I p)

  • May 2011
    • Miles et al. identified the enzyme for the key final step in the biosynthesis of queuosine, a hypermodified base found in the wobble positions of tRNA Asp, Asn, His, and Tyr from bacteria to man
    • Relevant SubtiWiki pages: QueG, translation

Zachary D Miles, Reid M McCarty, Gabriella Molnar, Vahe Bandarian
Discovery of epoxyqueuosine (oQ) reductase reveals parallels between halorespiration and tRNA modification.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A: 2011, 108(18);7368-72
[PubMed:21502530] [] [DOI] (I p)