The tagGH operon of Bacillus subtilis 168 encodes a two-component ABC transporter involved in the metabolism of two wall teichoic acids

Mol Microbiol. 1995 Apr;16(2):345-55. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.1995.tb02306.x.


We report the nucleotide sequence and the characterization of the Bacillus subtilis tagGH operon. The latter is controlled by a sigma A-dependent promoter and situated in the 308 degrees chromosomal region which contains genes involved in teichoic acid biosynthesis. TagG is a hydrophobic 32.2 kDa protein which resembles integral membrane proteins belonging to polymer-export systems of Gram-negative bacteria. Gene tagH encodes a 59.9 kDa protein whose N-moiety contains the ATP-binding motif and shares extensive homology with a number of ATP-binding proteins, particularly with those associated with the transport of capsular polysaccharides and O-antigens. That the tagGH operon is essential for cell growth was established by the failure to inactivate tagG and the 5'-moiety of tagH by insertional mutagenesis. During limited tagGH expression, cells exhibited a cocoid morphology while their walls contained reduced amounts of phosphate as well as galactosamine. These observations, revealing impaired metabolism of both wall teichoic acids of B. subtilis 168, i.e. poly(glycerol phosphate), and poly(glucose galactosamine phosphate), combined with sequence homologies, suggest that TagG and TagH are involved in the translocation through the cytoplasmic membrane of the latter teichoic acids or their precursors.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / biosynthesis
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / growth & development
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Bacterial Proteins*
  • Base Sequence
  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Wall / metabolism
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Glycerophosphates / metabolism
  • Hydrolases*
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Insertional
  • Operon*
  • Phosphates / metabolism
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial / metabolism
  • RNA / genetics
  • Sequence Alignment
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Teichoic Acids / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Bacterial Proteins
  • Glycerophosphates
  • Phosphates
  • Polysaccharides, Bacterial
  • Teichoic Acids
  • poly(3-O-beta-glucopyranosyl-N-acetylgalactosamine 1-phosphate)
  • tagG protein, Bacillus subtilis
  • polyglycerolphosphate
  • RNA
  • Hydrolases
  • tagH protein, Bacillus subtilis

Associated data

  • GENBANK/U13832