Cloning and characterization of the hemA region of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


A 3.8-kilobase DNA fragment from Bacillus subtilis containing the hemA gene has been cloned and sequenced. Four open reading frames were identified. The first is hemA, encoding a protein of 50.8 kilodaltons. The primary defect of a B. subtilis 5-aminolevulinic acid-requiring mutant was identified as a cysteine-to-tyrosine substitution in the HemA protein. The predicted amino acid sequence of the B. subtilis HemA protein showed 34% identity with the Escherichia coli HemA protein, which is known to code for the NAD(P)H:glutamyl-tRNA reductase of the C5 pathway for 5-aminolevulinic acid synthesis. The B. subtilis HemA protein also complements the defect of an E. coli hemA mutant. The second open reading frame in the cloned fragment, called ORF2, codes for a protein of about 30 kilodaltons with unknown function. It is not the proposed hemB gene product porphobilinogen synthase. The third open reading frame is hemC, coding for porphobilinogen deaminase. The fourth open reading frame extends past the sequenced fragment and may be identical to hemD, coding for uroporphyrinogen III cosynthase. Analysis of deletion mutants of the hemA region suggests that (at least) hemA, ORF2, and hemC may be part of an operon.


External organisations
  • Lund University
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology
  • Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2250-2258
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Publication statusPublished - 1990
Publication categoryResearch