Structural organization of a Bacillus subtilis operon encoding menaquinone biosynthetic enzymes

Gene. 1995 Dec 29;167(1-2):105-9. doi: 10.1016/0378-1119(95)00662-1.


Menaquinone (MK) is a non-protein component of the Bacillus subtilis (Bs) electron transport chain synthesized from chorismate through a series of MK-specific reactions. The genes encoding biosynthesis of the naphthoquinone ring of MK are clustered at 273 degrees on the Bs chromosome. A 3.9-kb region capable of rescuing men mutants blocked in the early stages of MK biosynthesis was sequenced and found to contain three major open reading frames (ORFs). The first ORF (menF) has a predicted size of 51.8 kDa and 34% amino-acid identity with the isochorismate synthases of Escherichia coli (EntC) and Aeromonas hydrophila (AmoA), ORF2 (menD) a predicted size of 60.2 kDa and 21% identity with MenD of E. coli. ORF3 has a predicted size of 21.4 kDa and 29% identity to triacylglycerol lipase of Psychrobacter immobilis. No sequence corresponding to menC was identified. Plasmid integrational studies of the men gene cluster had suggested the presence of promoters secondary to the previously identified p1 men promoter. Sequence analysis revealed a putative promoter region upstream from ORF3.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacillus subtilis / genetics*
  • Bacillus subtilis / metabolism
  • Base Sequence
  • Carboxy-Lyases / genetics
  • Consensus Sequence
  • Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
  • Intramolecular Transferases*
  • Isomerases / genetics
  • Lipase / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Open Reading Frames
  • Operon
  • Oxo-Acid-Lyases / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Restriction Mapping
  • Vitamin K / biosynthesis*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Vitamin K
  • Lipase
  • Carboxy-Lyases
  • 2-oxoglutarate decarboxylase
  • 2-succinyl-6-hydroxy-2,4-cyclohexadiene-1-carboxylate synthase
  • Oxo-Acid-Lyases
  • Isomerases
  • Intramolecular Transferases
  • isochorismate synthase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M74538