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Cooperativity of peptidoglycan synthases active in bacterial cell elongation

Lookup NU author(s): Manuel Banzhaf, Dr Alexander Egan, Professor Waldemar Vollmer


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Growth of the bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan sacculus requires the co-ordinated activities of peptidoglycan synthases, hydrolases and cell morphogenesis proteins, but the details of these interactions are largely unknown. We now show that the Escherichia coli peptidoglycan glycosyltrasferase-transpeptidase PBP1A interacts with the cell elongation-specific transpeptidase PBP2 in vitro and in the cell. Cells lacking PBP1A are thinner and initiate cell division later in the cell cycle. PBP1A localizes mainly to the cylindrical wall of the cell, supporting its role in cell elongation. Our in vitro peptidoglycan synthesis assays provide novel insights into the cooperativity of peptidoglycan synthases with different activities. PBP2 stimulates the glycosyltransferase activity of PBP1A, and PBP1A and PBP2 cooperate to attach newly synthesized peptidoglycan to sacculi. PBP2 has peptidoglycan transpeptidase activity in the presence of active PBP1A. Our data also provide a possible explanation for the depletion of lipid II precursors in penicillin-treated cells.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Banzhaf M, van den Berg van Saparoea B, Terrak M, Fraipont C, Egan A, Philippe J, Zapun A, Breukink E, Nguyen-Disteche M, den Blaauwen T, Vollmer W

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Molecular Microbiology

Year: 2012

Volume: 85

Issue: 1

Pages: 179-194

Print publication date: 01/07/2012

ISSN (print): 0950-382X

ISSN (electronic): 1365-2958

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell


DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2012.08103.x


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Funder referenceFunder name
ADR from the Region Rhone-Alpes
2.4506.08'Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective' (FRFC)
2.4543.12'Fonds de la Recherche Fondamentale Collective' (FRFC)
ANR-08-BLAN-0201European Commission
DIVINOCELL HEALTH-F3-2009-223431European Commission
EUR-INTAFAR LSHM-CT-2004-512138European Commission
OBIMG44949Royal Society-CNRS