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Description: RNA polymerase ECF-type sigma factor SigW, required for the adaptation to membrane active agents, activated by alkaline shock and by polymyxin B, vancomycin, cephalosporin C, D-cycloserine, and triton X-100

Name: sigW
Locus: BSU01730BsubCyc
pI: 8.0
MW: 21.0 kDa
Protein length: 187 aaBLASTSequence
Gene length: 561 bpBLASTSequenceSequence + Flanks
Function: adaptation to membrane-active compounds
Product: RNA polymerase ECF-type sigma factor SigW
Essential: no
E.C. number:
Synonyms: ybbL
Databases: SubtiListKEGGUniProtExpression data browser

Categories containing this gene/protein

transcription, sigma factors and their control, cell envelope stress proteins (controlled by SigM, V, W, X, Y)

This gene is a member of the following regulons

AbrB regulon, SigW regulon

The SigW regulon


  • Coordinates on the chromosome (coding sequence): 194,849 -> 195,412
  • Phenotypes of a mutant

  • sensitive to ß-lactam antibiotics such as cefuroxime and to fosfomycin PubMed
  • Inactivation of alsR, sigD and sigW increases competitive fitness of Bacillus subtilis under non-sporulating conditions PubMed
  • The protein

    Catalyzed reaction/ biological activity

    Protein family

  • ECF subfamily (according to Swiss-Prot)
  • Paralogous protein(s)

    Kinetic information




    Effectors of protein activity

  • RsiW acts as antagonist of SigW (anti-SigW)
  • Structure



  • RsiW-SigW PubMed
  • SigW-RpoB-RpoC
  • Additional information

    Expression and Regulation


  • sigW-rsiW PubMed
  • Sigma factor

  • SigW PubMed
  • Regulation

  • induced under conditions of alkali shock or in the presence of the toxin SdpC (SigW) PubMed
  • repressed during logrithmic growth (AbrB) PubMed
  • Regulatory mechanism

  • AbrB: transcription repression PubMed
  • Additional information

    Biological materials


  • 1A905 ( sigW::erm), PubMed, available at BGSC
  • Expression vector

    lacZ fusion

    GFP fusion

    two-hybrid system

    FLAG-tag construct


    Labs working on this gene/protein

  • John Helmann, Cornell University, USA Homepage
  • Thomas Wiegert, University of Bayreuth, Germany Homepage
  • References


    Radeck J, Fritz G, Mascher T

    The cell envelope stress response of Bacillus subtilis: from static signaling devices to dynamic regulatory network

    Curr Genet. 2017 Feb;63(1):79-90. doi: 10.1007/s00294-016-0624-0. Epub 2016 Jun 25. Review. PubMed PMID: 27344142.
    Helmann JD

    Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors and defense of the cell envelope

    Curr Opin Microbiol. 2016 Apr;30:122-32. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2016.02.002. Epub 2016 Feb 20. Review. PubMed PMID: 26901131; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4821709.
    Souza BM, Castro TL, Carvalho RD, Seyffert N, Silva A, Miyoshi A, Azevedo V

    σ(ECF) factors of gram-positive bacteria: a focus on Bacillus subtilis and the CMNR group

    Virulence. 2014 Jul 1;5(5):587-600. doi: 10.4161/viru.29514. Epub 2014 Jun 12. Review. PubMed PMID: 24921931; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4105308.
    Ho TD, Ellermeier CD

    Extra cytoplasmic function σ factor activation

    Curr Opin Microbiol. 2012 Apr;15(2):182-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mib.2012.01.001. Epub 2012 Feb 28. Review. PubMed PMID: 22381678; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3320685.

    The SigW regulon

    Yang CK, Tai PC, Lu CD

    Time-related transcriptome analysis of B

    subtilis 168 during growth with glucose. Curr Microbiol. 2014 Jan;68(1):12-20. doi: 10.1007/s00284-013-0432-4. Epub 2013 Aug 10. PubMed PMID: 23934352.
    Zweers JC, Nicolas P, Wiegert T, van Dijl JM, Denham EL

    Definition of the σ(W) regulon of Bacillus subtilis in the absence of stress

    PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e48471. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048471. Epub 2012 Nov 14. PubMed PMID: 23155385; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3498285.
    Mascher T, Hachmann AB, Helmann JD

    Regulatory overlap and functional redundancy among Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function sigma factors

    J Bacteriol. 2007 Oct;189(19):6919-27. Epub 2007 Aug 3. PubMed PMID: 17675383; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2045236.
    Butcher BG, Helmann JD

    Identification of Bacillus subtilis sigma-dependent genes that provide intrinsic resistance to antimicrobial compounds produced by Bacilli

    Mol Microbiol. 2006 May;60(3):765-82. PubMed PMID: 16629676.
    Cao M, Kobel PA, Morshedi MM, Wu MF, Paddon C, Helmann JD

    Defining the Bacillus subtilis sigma(W) regulon: a comparative analysis of promoter consensus search, run-off transcription/macroarray analysis (ROMA), and transcriptional profiling approaches

    J Mol Biol. 2002 Feb 22;316(3):443-57. PubMed PMID: 11866510.
    Turner MS, Helmann JD

    Mutations in multidrug efflux homologs, sugar isomerases, and antimicrobial biosynthesis genes differentially elevate activity of the sigma(X) and sigma(W) factors in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2000 Sep;182(18):5202-10. PubMed PMID: 10960106; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC94670.
    Huang X, Gaballa A, Cao M, Helmann JD

    Identification of target promoters for the Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function sigma factor, sigma W

    Mol Microbiol. 1999 Jan;31(1):361-71. PubMed PMID: 9987136.
    Huang X, Fredrick KL, Helmann JD

    Promoter recognition by Bacillus subtilis sigmaW: autoregulation and partial overlap with the sigmaX regulon

    J Bacteriol. 1998 Aug;180(15):3765-70. PubMed PMID: 9683469; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC107356.

    Other original publications

    Narula J, Tiwari A, Igoshin OA

    Role of Autoregulation and Relative Synthesis of Operon Partners in Alternative Sigma Factor Networks

    PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Dec 15;12(12):e1005267. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1005267. eCollection 2016 Dec. PubMed PMID: 27977677; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5207722.
    Guzina J, Djordjevic M

    Promoter Recognition by Extracytoplasmic Function σ Factors: Analyzing DNA and Protein Interaction Motifs

    J Bacteriol. 2016 Jun 27;198(14):1927-38. doi: 10.1128/JB.00244-16. Print 2016 Jul 15. PubMed PMID: 27137497; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4936102.
    Yu WB, Yin CY, Zhou Y, Ye BC

    Prediction of the mechanism of action of fusaricidin on Bacillus subtilis

    PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50003. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050003. Epub 2012 Nov 21. PubMed PMID: 23185515; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3503724.
    Nicholson WL

    Increased competitive fitness of Bacillus subtilis under nonsporulating conditions via inactivation of pleiotropic regulators AlsR, SigD, and SigW

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 May;78(9):3500-3. doi: 10.1128/AEM.07742-11. Epub 2012 Feb 17. PubMed PMID: 22344650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3346490.
    Lee YH, Kingston AW, Helmann JD

    Glutamate dehydrogenase affects resistance to cell wall antibiotics in Bacillus subtilis

    J Bacteriol. 2012 Mar;194(5):993-1001. doi: 10.1128/JB.06547-11. Epub 2011 Dec 16. PubMed PMID: 22178969; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3294759.
    Brown CT, Fishwick LK, Chokshi BM, Cuff MA, Jackson JM 4th, Oglesby T, Rioux AT, Rodriguez E, Stupp GS, Trupp AH, Woollcombe-Clarke JS, Wright TN, Zaragoza WJ, Drew JC, Triplett EW, Nicholson WL

    Whole-genome sequencing and phenotypic analysis of Bacillus subtilis mutants following evolution under conditions of relaxed selection for sporulation

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Oct;77(19):6867-77. doi: 10.1128/AEM.05272-11. Epub 2011 Aug 5. PubMed PMID: 21821766; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3187084.
    Kingston AW, Subramanian C, Rock CO, Helmann JD

    A σW-dependent stress response in Bacillus subtilis that reduces membrane fluidity

    Mol Microbiol. 2011 Jul;81(1):69-79. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2011.07679.x. Epub 2011 Jun 9. PubMed PMID: 21542858; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3124602.
    Luo Y, Asai K, Sadaie Y, Helmann JD

    Transcriptomic and phenotypic characterization of a Bacillus subtilis strain without extracytoplasmic function σ factors

    J Bacteriol. 2010 Nov;192(21):5736-45. doi: 10.1128/JB.00826-10. Epub 2010 Sep 3. PubMed PMID: 20817771; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2953670.
    Zweers JC, Wiegert T, van Dijl JM

    Stress-responsive systems set specific limits to the overproduction of membrane proteins in Bacillus subtilis

    Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009 Dec;75(23):7356-64. doi: 10.1128/AEM.01560-09. Epub 2009 Oct 9. PubMed PMID: 19820159; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2786430.
    Helmann JD

    Deciphering a complex genetic regulatory network: the Bacillus subtilis sigmaW protein and intrinsic resistance to antimicrobial compounds

    Sci Prog. 2006;89(Pt 3-4):243-66. Review. PubMed PMID: 17338440.
    Ellermeier CD, Losick R

    Evidence for a novel protease governing regulated intramembrane proteolysis and resistance to antimicrobial peptides in Bacillus subtilis

    Genes Dev. 2006 Jul 15;20(14):1911-22. Epub 2006 Jun 30. PubMed PMID: 16816000; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1522089.
    Yoshimura M, Asai K, Sadaie Y, Yoshikawa H

    Interaction of Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors with the N-terminal regions of their potential anti-sigma factors

    Microbiology. 2004 Mar;150(Pt 3):591-9. PubMed PMID: 14993308.
    Yoshimura M, Asai K, Sadaie Y, Yoshikawa H

    Interaction of Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors with the N-terminal regions of their potential anti-sigma factors

    Microbiology. 2004 Mar;150(Pt 3):591-9. PubMed PMID: 14993308.
    Steil L, Hoffmann T, Budde I, Völker U, Bremer E

    Genome-wide transcriptional profiling analysis of adaptation of Bacillus subtilis to high salinity

    J Bacteriol. 2003 Nov;185(21):6358-70. PubMed PMID: 14563871; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC219388.
    Cao M, Wang T, Ye R, Helmann JD

    Antibiotics that inhibit cell wall biosynthesis induce expression of the Bacillus subtilis sigma(W) and sigma(M) regulons

    Mol Microbiol. 2002 Sep;45(5):1267-76. PubMed PMID: 12207695.
    Qian Q, Lee CY, Helmann JD, Strauch MA

    AbrB is a regulator of the sigma(W) regulon in Bacillus subtilis

    FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2002 Jun 4;211(2):219-23. PubMed PMID: 12076816.
    Wiegert T, Homuth G, Versteeg S, Schumann W

    Alkaline shock induces the Bacillus subtilis sigma(W) regulon

    Mol Microbiol. 2001 Jul;41(1):59-71. PubMed PMID: 11454200.
    Qiu J, Helmann JD

    The -10 region is a key promoter specificity determinant for the Bacillus subtilis extracytoplasmic-function sigma factors sigma(X) and sigma(W)

    J Bacteriol. 2001 Mar;183(6):1921-7. PubMed PMID: 11222589; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC95086.
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