Anaerobic regulation of Bacillus subtilis Krebs cycle genes

Michiko M. Nakano, Peter Zuber, Abraham L. Sonenshein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Krebs cycle enzyme activity in Bacillus subtilis was examined under aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Citrate synthase and aconitase activities in cells grown anaerobically in the presence of nitrate were reduced by as much as 10- and 30-fold, respectively, from levels observed under aerobic culture conditions. The maximum levels of isocitrate dehydrogenase activity during anaerobic growth was only twofold lower than that in aerobic cultures. These reductions in activity under conditions of anaerobiosis were found to be primarily the result of reduced Krebs cycle gene transcription. This repression was not dependent on either the fnr or resDE gene products, which have been shown to regulate expression of other B. subtilis genes in response to anaerobic conditions. Additionally, catabolite control proteins CcpA and CcpB were not responsible for the repression. A dyad symmetry element located between positions -73 and -59 relative to the transcription start site of the aconitase gene (citB) promoter was previously shown to be a target of catabolite repression and the binding site for a putative negative regulator during aerobic growth. The deletion of the upstream arm of the dyad symmetry region abolished the citB repression observed during anaerobic growth. Furthermore, neither citZ or citB was repressed in an anaerobically grown citB mutant, an effect that was very likely the result of citrate accumulation. These results suggest that catabolite repression and anaerobic repression of citZ and citB are regulated by a common mechanism that does not involve CcpA, CcpB, Fnr, or ResDE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3304-3311
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of bacteriology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 1998
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Molecular Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Anaerobic regulation of Bacillus subtilis Krebs cycle genes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this