Global network reorganization during dynamic adaptations of Bacillus subtilis metabolism.
Bacillus subtilis utilizes glucose as the preferred source of carbon and energy. The sugar is transported into the cell by a specific permease of the phosphoenolpyruvate:sugar phosphotransferase system (PTS) encoded by the ptsGHI operon. Expression of this operon is induced by glucose and requires the action of a positive transcription factor, the GlcT antiterminator protein. Glucose availability is sensed by glucose-specific enzyme II (EIIGlc), the product of ptsG. In the absence of inducer, the glucose permease negatively controls the activity of the antiterminator. The GlcT antiterminator has a modular structure. The isolated N-terminal part contains the RNA-binding protein and acts as a constitutively acting antiterminator. GlcT contains two PTS regulation domains (PRDs) at the C terminus. One (PRD-I) is the target of negative control exerted by EIIGlc. A conserved His residue (His-104 in GlcT) is involved in inactivation of GlcT in the absence of glucose. It was previously proposed that PRD-containing transcriptional antiterminators are phosphorylated and concomitantly inactivated in the absence of the substrate by their corresponding PTS permeases. The results obtained with B. subtilis glucose permease with site-specific mutations suggest, however, that the permease might modulate the phosphorylation reaction without being the phosphate donor.