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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Bacillus species proteins involved in spore formation and degradation: from identification in the genome, to sequence analysis, and determination of function and structure.

The members of Bacillus species are Gram-positive, ubiquitous spore-forming bacilli. Several genomic sequences have been made available during recent years, including Bacillus subtilis, a model organism among this genus, Bacillus anthracis, and their analyses provided a wealth of information about spore-forming bacteria. Some members of this species can cause serious diseases in livestock and humans. An important pathogen in this group of organisms is B. anthracis, which is the causative agent of anthrax. A summary of the B. subtilis genome information, based on the publicly released sequence, that allowed for the identification and characterization of new and novel proteins of this organism as well as similar proteins from other members of Bacillus species is provided. The primary goal for this work is to present a review of the genome sequence-identified genes that encode proteins involved in the sporulation, germination, and outgrowth processes. These three processes are essential for spore development and later its transformation into a vegetative cell. Additionally, for a few selected examples of the protein products of the identified genes, the application of bioinformatics and modeling tools is illustrated in order to determine their likely structure and function. Two three-dimensional models of the structures of such proteins, PrfA endonuclease and phosphatase PhoE, are presented together with the structure-based functional conclusions. The review of such studies provides an example of how the genomic sequence can be utilized in order to elucidate the structure and function of proteins, in particular proteins of the Bacillus species. Because only a limited number of proteins of Bacillus species organisms are involved in the synthesis and degradation of spores and have been characterized to date, this genome-based analysis may provide new insights into the developmental processes of bacterial organism.[1]


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