DNA microarray analysis of Bacillus subtilis DegU, ComA and PhoP regulons: an approach to comprehensive analysis of B.subtilis two-component regulatory systems

Nucleic Acids Res. 2001 Sep 15;29(18):3804-13. doi: 10.1093/nar/29.18.3804.


We have analyzed the regulons of the Bacillus subtilis two-component regulators DegU, ComA and PhoP by using whole genome DNA microarrays. For these experiments we took the strategy that the response regulator genes were cloned downstream of an isopropyl-beta-D-thiogalactopyranoside-inducible promoter on a multicopy plasmid and expressed in disruptants of the cognate sensor kinase genes, degS, comP and phoR, respectively. The feasibility of this experimental design to detect target genes was demonstrated by the following two results. First, expression of lacZ fusions of aprE, srfA and ydhF, the target genes of DegU, ComA and PhoP, respectively, was stimulated in their cognate sensor kinase-deficient mutants upon overproduction of the regulators. Secondly, by microarray analysis most of the known target genes for the regulators were detected and, where unknown genes were found, the regulator dependency of several of them was demonstrated. As the mutants used were deficient in the kinase genes, these results show that target candidates can be detected without signal transduction. Using this experimental design, we identified many genes whose dependency on the regulators for expression had not been known. These results suggest the applicability of the strategy to the comprehensive transcription analysis of the B.subtilis two-component systems.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics*
  • Blotting, Northern
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / genetics
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Mutation
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Plasmids / genetics
  • RNA, Bacterial / genetics
  • RNA, Bacterial / metabolism
  • Regulon / genetics*


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • ComA protein, Bacteria
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • DegU protein, Bacteria
  • RNA, Bacterial
  • PhoP protein, Bacteria