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PrkA controls peptidoglycan biosynthesis through the essential phosphorylation of ReoM

Lookup NU author(s): Zoe Rutter, Dr Claire Jennings, Dr Richard Lewis, Dr Sven Halbedel



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Peptidoglycan (PG) is the main component of bacterial cell walls and the target for many antibiotics. PG biosynthesis is tightly coordinated with cell wall growth and turnover, and many of these control activities depend upon PASTA-domain containing eukaryotic-like serine/threonine protein kinases (PASTA-eSTK) that sense PG fragments. However, only a few PG biosynthetic enzymes are direct kinase substrates. Here, we identify the conserved ReoM protein as a novel PASTA-eSTK substrate in the Gram-positive pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Our data show that the phosphorylation of ReoM is essential as it controls ClpCP-dependent proteolytic degradation of the essential enzyme MurA, which catalyses the first committed step in PG biosynthesis. We also identify ReoY as a second novel factor required for degradation of ClpCP substrates. Collectively, our data imply that the first committed step of PG biosynthesis is activated through control of ClpCP protease activity in response to signals of PG homeostasis imbalance.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wamp S, Rutter ZJ, Rismodo J, Jennings CE, Möller L, Lewis RJ, Halbedel S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: eLife

Year: 2020

Volume: 9

Online publication date: 29/05/2020

Acceptance date: 27/05/2020

Date deposited: 23/06/2020

ISSN (electronic): 2050-084X

Publisher: eLife Sciences Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.7554/eLife.56048


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