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Endopeptidase Regulation as a Novel Function of the Zur-Dependent Zinc Starvation Response
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Molecular Biology (Faculty of Medicine). Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Molecular Infection Medicine Sweden (MIMS).
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2019 (English)In: mBio, ISSN 2161-2129, E-ISSN 2150-7511, Vol. 10, no 1, article id e02620-18Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The cell wall is a strong, yet flexible, meshwork of peptidoglycan (PG) that gives a bacterium structural integrity. To accommodate a growing cell, the wall is remodeled by both PG synthesis and degradation. Vibrio cholerae encodes a group of three nearly identical zinc-dependent endopeptidases (EPs) that are predicted to hydrolyze PG to facilitate cell growth. Two of these (ShyA and ShyC) are conditionally essential housekeeping EPs, while the third (ShyB) is not expressed under standard laboratory conditions. To investigate the role of ShyB, we conducted a transposon screen to identify mutations that activate shyB transcription. We found that shyB is induced as part of the Zur-mediated zinc starvation response, a mode of regulation not previously reported for cell wall lytic enzymes. In vivo, ShyB alone was sufficient to sustain cell growth in low-zinc environments. In vitro, ShyB retained its D, D-endopeptidase activity against purified sacculi in the presence of the metal chelator EDTA at concentrations that inhibit ShyA and ShyC. This insensitivity to metal chelation is likely what enables ShyB to substitute for other EPs during zinc starvation. Our survey of transcriptomic data from diverse bacteria identified other candidate Zur-regulated EPs, suggesting that this adaptation to zinc starvation is employed by other Gram-negative bacteria. IMPORTANCE Bacteria encode a variety of adaptations that enable them to survive during zinc starvation, a condition which is encountered both in natural environments and inside the human host. In Vibrio cholerae, the causative agent of the diarrheal disease cholera, we have identified a novel member of this zinc starvation response, a cell wall hydrolase that retains function and is conditionally essential for cell growth in low-zinc environments. Other Gram-negative bacteria contain homologs that appear to be under similar regulatory control. These findings are significant because they represent, to our knowledge, the first evidence that zinc homeostasis influences cell wall turnover. Anti-infective therapies commonly target the bacterial cell wall; therefore, an improved understanding of how the cell wall adapts to host-induced zinc starvation could lead to new antibiotic development. Such therapeutic interventions are required to combat the rising threat of drug-resistant infections.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY , 2019. Vol. 10, no 1, article id e02620-18
Keywords [en]
Gram-negative, Vibrio cholerae, cell wall, hydrolase, metalloproteins, peptidoglycan, zinc starvation
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-157540DOI: 10.1128/mBio.02620-18ISI: 000460314300056PubMedID: 30782657OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-157540DiVA, id: diva2:1301209
Available from: 2019-04-01 Created: 2019-04-01 Last updated: 2019-04-01Bibliographically approved

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Alvarez, LauraCava, Felipe

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