Identification and characterization of the mre gene region of Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2)

A. Burger, K. Sichler, G. Kelemen, M. Buttner, W. Wohlleben

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During a search for new differentiation factors in Streptomyces coelicolor A3(2), a locus at 11 o'clock on the S. coelicolor map was identified which harbours several genes that show extensive similarity to cell division and differentiation genes from Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis. From the sequence data it was concluded that the region contains the genes mreB, mreC, mreD (murein formation gene cluster E), pbp83 (high-molecular-weight penicillin-binding protein) and sfr (member of the spoVE/ftsW/rodA family). Mre gene products are reported to be responsible for determining cell shape in E. coli and Bacillus. The S. coelicolor mreC gene was inactivated by gene disruption, resulting in mutants which showed significant growth retardation in comparison to the wild type. Inactivation of the mreB gene was incompatible with viability, and thus mreB represents a Streptomyces cell division gene that is essential for survival. Promoter-probe experiments led to the identification of an operon structure, with promoters located upstream of mreB, pbp83 and sfr. Detailed studies of mreB transcription revealed the existence of three promoters; two of them are constitutively transcribed, whereas the third is developmentally regulated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1053-1060
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and General Genetics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000


  • Cell division
  • Differentiation
  • Streptomyces

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