Genomic organization of the mycobacterial sigma gene cluster
We have previously described sigma A and sigma B and their structural genes, mysA and mysB, respectively, in Mycobacterium smegmatis. We have now sequenced the corresponding regions in the M. tuberculosis and M. leprae chromosomes, and have found the two homologous genes. The chromosomal linkage and the deduced amino acid (aa) sequences of the two genes show very high similarity in the three species of mycobacteria. We also report the finding of two other open reading frames (ORF) in these clusters. orfX, which has an unknown function, is located between mysA and mysB. The other ORF, located downstream from mysB, encodes a homolog of DtxR, the iron regulatory protein from Corynebacterium diphtheriae (Cd).