To understand a physiological role of an abundant 34-kDa periplasmic protein in the denitrifying phototroph Rhodobacter sphaeroides f. sp. denitrificans grown in a medium containing malate as the carbon source, the gene for the protein was isolated. The deduced amino acid sequence of the protein had a sequence similarity of 66.2% to that of PstS from Sinorhizobium meliloti. The downstream sequence of the Rhodobacter pstS contained five genes similar to pstCAB and phoUB, and its upstream sequence contained a putative regulatory sequence that is analogous to the Pho box involved in phosphate-limitation-induced gene expression in Escherichia coli. Both the amount of the PstS and the pstS promoter-driven expression of lacZ activity increased about two-fold in response to phosphate limitation. This is the first isolation of pst genes encoding proteins of an ABC phosphate transporter system from phototrophic bacteria.
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