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Binding to pyruvylated compounds as an ancestral mechanism to anchor the outer envelope in primitive bacteria
Centro de Biología Molecular 'Severo Ochoa' CSIC-UAM, Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain.
Centro de Biología Molecular 'Severo Ochoa' CSIC-UAM, Campus de Cantoblanco, Madrid, Spain.
Max Plank Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Tübingen, Germany.
Goettingen Genomics Laboratory, Institute for Microbiology and Genetics, Germany.
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2004 (English)In: Molecular Microbiology, ISSN 0950-382X, E-ISSN 1365-2958, Vol. 52, no 3, 677-690 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Electron microscopy of isolated cell walls of the ancient bacterium Thermus thermophilus revealed that most of the peptidoglycan (PG) surface, apart from the septal region, was shielded against specific alphaPG antibodies. On the other hand, an antiserum raised against S-layer-attached cell wall fragments (alphaSAC) bound to most of the surface except for the septal regions. Treatments with alpha-amylase and pronase E made the entire cell wall surface uniformly accessible to alphaPG and severely decreased the binding of alphaSAC. We concluded that a layer of strongly bound secondary cell wall polymers (SCWPs) covers most of the cell wall surface in this ancient bacterium. A preliminary analysis revealed that such SCWPs constitute 14% of the cell wall and are essentially composed of sugars. Enzyme treatments of the cell walls revealed that SCWP was required in vitro for the binding of the S-layer protein through the S-layer homology (SLH) motif. The csaB gene was necessary for the attachment of the S-layer-outer membrane (OM) complex to the cell wall in growing cells of T. thermophilus. In vitro experiments confirmed that cell walls from a csaB mutant bound to the S-layer with a much lower affinity ( approximately 1/10) than that of the wild type. CsaB was found to be required for pyruvylation of components of the SCWP and for immunodetection with alpha-SAC antiserum. Therefore, the S-layer-OM complex of T. thermophilus binds to the cell wall through the SLH motif of the S-layer protein via a strong interaction with a highly immunogenic pyruvylated component of the SCWP. Immuno-cross-reactive compounds were detected with alphaSAC on cell walls of other Thermus spp. and in the phylogenetically related microorganism Deinococcus radiodurans. These results imply that the interaction between the SLH motif and pyruvylated components of the cell wall arose early during bacterial evolution as an ancestral mechanism for anchoring proteins and outer membranes to the cell walls of primitive bacteria.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004. Vol. 52, no 3, 677-690 p.
National Category
Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Microbiology
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-81876DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2004.04011.xISI: 000220941400007PubMedID: 15101975OAI: diva2:658621
Available from: 2013-10-22 Created: 2013-10-22 Last updated: 2013-10-29Bibliographically approved

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Cava, Felipe
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