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

patS minigenes inhibit heterocyst development of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120.

The patS gene encodes a small peptide that is required for normal heterocyst pattern formation in the cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. PatS is proposed to control the heterocyst pattern by lateral inhibition. patS minigenes were constructed and expressed by different developmentally regulated promoters to gain further insight into PatS signaling. patS minigenes patS4 to patS8 encode PatS C-terminal 4 (GSGR) to 8 (CDERGSGR) oligopeptides. When expressed by P(petE), P(patS), or P(rbcL) promoters, patS5 to patS8 inhibited heterocyst formation but patS4 did not. In contrast to the full-length patS gene, P(hepA)-patS5 failed to restore a wild-type pattern in a patS null mutant, indicating that PatS-5 cannot function in cell-to-cell signaling if it is expressed in proheterocysts. To establish the location of the PatS receptor, PatS-5 was confined within the cytoplasm as a gfp-patS5 fusion. The green fluorescent protein GFP-PatS-5 fusion protein inhibited heterocyst formation. Similarly, full-length PatS with a C-terminal hexahistidine tag inhibited heterocyst formation. These data indicate that the PatS receptor is located in the cytoplasm, which is consistent with recently published data indicating that HetR is a PatS target. We speculated that overexpression of other Anabaena strain PCC 7120 RGSGR-encoding genes might show heterocyst inhibition activity. In addition to patS and hetN, open reading frame (ORF) all3290 and an unannotated ORF, orf77, encode an RGSGR motif. Overexpression of all3290 and orf77 under the control of the petE promoter inhibited heterocyst formation, indicating that the RGSGR motif can inhibit heterocyst development in a variety of contexts.[1]


  1. patS minigenes inhibit heterocyst development of Anabaena sp. strain PCC 7120. Wu, X., Liu, D., Lee, M.H., Golden, J.W. J. Bacteriol. (2004) [Pubmed]
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