Publications (3)4.77 Total impact
Article: Aslfm, the D-aspartate ligase responsible for the addition of D-aspartic acid onto the peptidoglycan precursor of Enterococcus faecium.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: D-aspartate ligase has remained the last unidentified peptide bond-forming enzyme in the peptidoglycan assembly pathway of Gram-positive bacteria. Here we show that a two-gene cluster of Enterococcus faecium encodes aspartate racemase (Racfm) and ligase (Aslfm) for incorporation of D-Asp into the side chain of the peptidoglycan precursor. Aslfm was identified as a new member of the ATP-grasp protein superfamily, which includes a diverse set of enzymes catalyzing ATP-dependent carboxylate-amine ligation reactions. Aslfm specifically ligated the beta-carboxylate of D-Asp to the epsilon-amino group of L-Lys in the nucleotide precursor UDP-N-acetylmuramyl-pentapeptide. D-iso-asparagine was not a substrate of Aslfm, indicating that the presence of this amino acid in the peptidoglycan of E. faecium results from amidation of the alpha-carboxyl of D-Asp after its addition to the precursor. Heterospecific expression of the genes encoding Racfm and Aslfm in Enterococcus faecalis led to production of stem peptides substituted by D-Asp instead of L-Ala2, providing evidence for the in vivo specificity and function of these enzymes. Strikingly, sequencing of the cross-bridges revealed that substitution of L-Ala2 by D-Asp is tolerated by the d,d-transpeptidase activity of the penicillin-binding proteins both in the acceptor and in the donor substrates. The Aslfm ligase appears as an attractive target for the development of narrow spectrum antibiotics active against multiresistant E. faecium.Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2006; 281(17):11586-94. · 4.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Glycopeptides and beta-lactams are the major antibiotics available for the treatment of infections due to Gram-positive bacteria. Emergence of cross-resistance to these drugs by a single mechanism has been considered as unlikely because they inhibit peptidoglycan polymerization by different mechanisms. The glycopeptides bind to the peptidyl-D-Ala(4)-D-Ala(5) extremity of peptidoglycan precursors and block by steric hindrance the essential glycosyltransferase and D,D-transpeptidase activities of the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). The beta-lactams are structural analogues of D-Ala(4)-D-Ala(5) and act as suicide substrates of the D,D-transpeptidase module of the PBPs. Here we have shown that bypass of the PBPs by the recently described beta-lactam-insensitive L,D-transpeptidase from Enterococcus faecium (Ldt(fm)) can lead to high level resistance to glycopeptides and beta-lactams. Cross-resistance was selected by glycopeptides alone or serially by beta-lactams and glycopeptides. In the corresponding mutants, UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide was extensively converted to UDP-MurNAc-tetrapeptide following hydrolysis of D-Ala(5), thereby providing the substrate of Ldt(fm). Complete elimination of D-Ala(5), a residue essential for glycopeptide binding, was possible because Ldt(fm) uses the energy of the L-Lys(3)-D-Ala(4) peptide bond for cross-link formation in contrast to PBPs, which use the energy of the D-Ala(4)-D-Ala(5) bond. This novel mechanism of glycopeptide resistance was unrelated to the previously identified replacement of D-Ala(5) by D-Ser or D-lactate.
Article: Specificity of L,D-transpeptidases from gram-positive bacteria producing different peptidoglycan chemotypes.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: We report here the first direct assessment of the specificity of a class of peptidoglycan cross-linking enzymes, the L,D-transpeptidases, for the highly diverse structure of peptidoglycan precursors of Gram-positive bacteria. The lone functionally characterized member of this new family of active site cysteine peptidases, Ldt(fm) from Enterococcus faecium, was previously shown to bypass the D,D-transpeptidase activity of the classical penicillin-binding proteins leading to high level cross-resistance to glycopeptide and beta-lactam antibiotics. Ldt(fm) homologues from Bacillus subtilis (Ldt(Bs)) and E. faecalis (Ldt(fs)) were found here to cross-link their cognate disaccharide-peptide subunits containing meso-diaminopimelic acid (mesoDAP(3)) and L-Lys(3)-L-Ala-L-Ala at the third position of the stem peptide, respectively, instead of L-Lys(3)-d-iAsn in E. faecium. Ldt(fs) differed from Ldt(fm) and Ldt(Bs) by its capacity to hydrolyze the L-Lys(3)-D-Ala(4) bond of tetrapeptide (L,D-carboxypeptidase activity) and pentapeptide (L,D-endopeptidase activity) stems, in addition to the common cross-linking activity. The three enzymes were specific for their cognate acyl acceptors in the cross-linking reaction. In contrast to Ldt(fs), which was also specific for its cognate acyl donor, Ldt(fm) tolerated substitution of L-Lys(3)-D-iAsn by L-Lys(3)-L-Ala-L-Ala. Likewise, Ldt(Bs) tolerated substitution of mesoDAP(3) by L-Lys(3)-D-iAsn and L-Lys(3)-L-Ala-L-Ala in the acyl donor. Thus, diversification of the structure of peptidoglycan precursors associated with speciation has led to a parallel evolution of the substrate specificity of the L,D-transpeptidases affecting mainly the recognition of the acyl acceptor. Blocking the assembly of the side chain could therefore be used to combat antibiotic resistance involving L,D-transpeptidases.