Multiple histidine kinases regulate entry into stationary phase and sporulation in Bacillus subtilis

Mol Microbiol. 2000 Nov;38(3):535-42. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2958.2000.02148.x.


Protein homology studies identified five kinases potentially capable of phosphorylating the Spo0F response regulator and initiating sporulation in Bacillus subtilis. Two of these kinases, KinA and KinB, were known from previous studies to be responsible for sporulation in laboratory media. In vivo studies of the activity of four of the kinases, KinA, KinC, KinD (ykvD) and KinE (ykrQ), using abrB transcription as an indicator of Spo0A approximately P level, revealed that KinC and KinD were responsible for Spo0A approximately P production during the exponential phase of growth in the absence of KinA and KinB. In vitro, all four kinases dephosphorylated Spo0F approximately P with the production of ATP at approximately the same rate, indicating that they possess approximately equal affinity for Spo0F. All the kinases were expressed during growth and early stationary phase, suggesting that the differential activity observed in growth and sporulation results from differential activation by signal ligands unique to each kinase.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / enzymology
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics
  • Bacillus subtilis / physiology*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Proteins / metabolism
  • Chromatography, Thin Layer
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial*
  • Histidine Kinase
  • Mutation
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein Kinases / metabolism*
  • Spores, Bacterial / physiology
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism


  • AbrB protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • Spo0A protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Transcription Factors
  • Protein Kinases
  • Histidine Kinase
  • rapB protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • Phosphoprotein Phosphatases