Bacillus subtilis actin-like protein MreB influences the positioning of the replication machinery and requires membrane proteins MreC/D and other actin-like proteins for proper localization.

Biochemie, Fachbereich Chemie, Hans-Meerwein-Strasse, Philipps-Universität Marburg, 35032 Marburg, Germany. <>
BMC Cell Biology (Impact Factor: 2.81). 02/2005; 6(1):10. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2121-6-10
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Bacterial actin-like proteins have been shown to perform essential functions in several aspects of cellular physiology. They affect cell growth, cell shape, chromosome segregation and polar localization of proteins, and localize as helical filaments underneath the cell membrane. Bacillus subtilis MreB and Mbl have been shown to perform dynamic motor like movements within cells, extending along helical tracks in a time scale of few seconds.
In this work, we show that Bacillus subtilis MreB has a dual role, both in the formation of rod cell shape, and in chromosome segregation, however, its function in cell shape is distinct from that of MreC. Additionally, MreB is important for the localization of the replication machinery to the cell centre, which becomes aberrant soon after depletion of MreB. 3D image reconstructions suggest that frequently, MreB filaments consist of several discontinuous helical filaments with varying length. The localization of MreB was abnormal in cells with decondensed chromosomes, as well as during depletion of Mbl, MreBH and of the MreC/MreD proteins, which we show localize to the cell membrane. Thus, proper positioning of MreB filaments depends on and is affected by a variety of factors in the cell.
Our data provide genetic and cytological links between MreB and the membrane, as well as with other actin like proteins, and further supports the connection of MreB with the chromosome. The functional dependence on MreB of the localization of the replication machinery suggests that the replisome is not anchored at the cell centre, but is positioned in a dynamic manner.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The cytoskeletal protein MreB is an essential component of the bacterial cell-shape generation system. Using a superresolution variant of total internal reflection microscopy with structured illumination, as well as three-dimensional stacks of deconvolved epifluorescence microscopy, we found that inside living Bacillus subtilis cells, MreB forms filamentous structures of variable lengths, typically not longer than 1 μm. These filaments move along their orientation and mainly perpendicular to the long bacterial axis, revealing a maximal velocity at an intermediate length and a decreasing velocity with increasing filament length. Filaments move along straight trajectories but can reverse or alter their direction of propagation. Based on our measurements, we provide a mechanistic model that is consistent with all observations. In this model, MreB filaments mechanically couple several motors that putatively synthesize the cell wall, whereas the filaments' traces mirror the trajectories of the motors. On the basis of our mechanistic model, we developed a mathematical model that can explain the nonlinear velocity length dependence. We deduce that the coupling of cell wall synthesis motors determines the MreB filament transport velocity, and the filament mechanically controls a concerted synthesis of parallel peptidoglycan strands to improve cell wall stability.
    Biophysical Journal 09/2013; 105(5):1171-81. · 3.67 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The eukaryotic cortical actin cytoskeleton creates specific lipid domains, including lipid rafts, which determine the distribution of many membrane proteins. Here we show that the bacterial actin homologue MreB displays a comparable activity. MreB forms membrane-associated filaments that coordinate bacterial cell wall synthesis. We noticed that the MreB cytoskeleton influences fluorescent staining of the cytoplasmic membrane. Detailed analyses combining an array of mutants, using specific lipid staining techniques and spectroscopic methods, revealed that MreB filaments create specific membrane regions with increased fluidity (RIFs). Interference with these fluid lipid domains (RIFs) perturbs overall lipid homeostasis and affects membrane protein localization. The influence of MreB on membrane organization and fluidity may explain why the active movement of MreB stimulates membrane protein diffusion. These novel MreB activities add additional complexity to bacterial cell membrane organization and have implications for many membrane-associated processes.
    Nature Communications 01/2014; 5:3442. · 10.74 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Sporulation initiation in Bacillus subtilis is controlled by the phosphorylated form of the master regulator Spo0A which controls transcription of a multitude of sporulation genes. In this study, we investigated the importance of temporal dynamics of phosphorylated Spo0A (Spo0A∼P) accumulation by rewiring the network controlling its phosphorylation. We showed that simultaneous induction of KinC, a kinase that can directly phosphorylate Spo0A, and Spo0A itself from separately controlled inducible promoters can efficiently trigger sporulation even under nutrient rich conditions. However, the sporulation efficiency in this artificial two-component system was significantly impaired when KinC and/or Spo0A induction was too high. Using mathematical modeling, we showed that gradual accumulation of Spo0A∼P is essential for the proper temporal order of the Spo0A regulon expression, and that reduction in sporulation efficiency results from the reversal of that order. These insights led us to identify premature repression of DivIVA as one possible explanation for the adverse effects of accelerated accumulation of Spo0A∼P on sporulation. Moreover, we found that positive feedback resulting from autoregulation of the native spo0A promoter leads to robust control of Spo0A∼P accumulation kinetics. Thus we propose that a major function of the conserved architecture of the sporulation network is controlling Spo0A activation dynamics.
    Molecular Microbiology 08/2013; · 5.03 Impact Factor


Available from