[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Summary The PrsA protein is a membrane-anchored peptidyl-prolyl cis-trans isomerase in Bacillus subtilis and most other Gram-positive bacteria. It catalyses the post-translocational folding of exported proteins and is essential for normal growth of B. subtilis. We studied the mechanism behind this indispensability. We could construct a viable prsA null mutant in the presence of a high concentration of magnesium. Various changes in cell morphology in the absence of PrsA suggested that PrsA is involved in the biosynthesis of the cylindrical lateral wall. Consistently, four penicillin-binding proteins (PBP2a, PBP2b, PBP3 and PBP4) were unstable in the absence of PrsA, while muropeptide analysis revealed a 2% decrease in the peptidoglycan cross-linkage index. Misfolded PBP2a was detected in PrsA-depleted cells, indicating that PrsA is required for the folding of this PBP either directly or indirectly. Furthermore, strongly increased uniform staining of cell wall with a fluorescent vancomycin was observed in the absence of PrsA. We also demonstrated that PrsA is a dimeric or oligomeric protein which is localized at distinct spots organized in a helical pattern along the cell membrane. These results suggest that PrsA is essential for normal growth most probably as PBP folding is dependent on this PPIase.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding how pathogens respond to antimicrobial peptides, and how this compares to currently available antibiotics, is crucial for optimizing antimicrobial therapy. Staphylococcus aureus has several known resistance mechanisms against human cationic antimicrobial peptides (CAMPs). Gene expression changes in S. aureus strain Newman exposed to linear CAMPs were analyzed by DNA microarray. Three antimicrobial peptides were used in the analysis, two are derived from frog, temporin L and dermaseptin K4-S4(1-16), and the ovispirin-1 is obtained from sheep.
The peptides induced the VraSR cell-wall regulon and several other genes that are also up-regulated in cells treated with vancomycin and other cell wall-active antibiotics. In addition to this similarity, three genes/operons were particularly strongly induced by the peptides: vraDE, SA0205 and SAS016, encoding an ABC transporter, a putative membrane-bound lysostaphin-like peptidase and a small functionally unknown protein, respectively. Ovispirin-1 and dermaseptin K4-S4(1-16), which disrupt lipid bilayers by the carpet mechanism, appeared to be strong inducers of the vraDE operon. We show that high level induction by ovispirin-1 is dependent on the amide modification of the peptide C-terminus. This suggests that the amide group has a crucial role in the activation of the Aps (GraRS) sensory system, the regulator of vraDE. In contrast, temporin L, which disrupts lipid bilayers by forming pores, revealed a weaker inducer of vraDE despite the C-terminal amide modification. Sensitivity testing with CAMPs and other antimicrobials suggested that VraDE is a transporter dedicated to resist bacitracin. We also showed that SA0205 belongs to the VraSR regulon. Furthermore, VraSR was shown to be important for resistance against a wide range of cell wall-active antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents including the amide-modified ovispirin-1, bacitracin, teicoplanin, cefotaxime and 10 other beta-lactam antibiotics, chlorpromazine, thioridazine and EGTA.
Defense against different CAMPs involves not only general signaling pathways but also CAMP-specific ones. These results suggest that CAMPs or a mixture of CAMPs could constitute a potential additive to standard antibiotic treatment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Dlt system modulates the density of negative charge in the cell wall of Gram-positive bacteria by substituting anionic polymers (wall and lipoteichoic acids) with d-alanine. The htrA and htrB genes, regulated by the CssRS two-component system (TCS) and encoding membrane-associated protein quality control proteases, were expressed at strongly decreased levels in a mutant with defective Dlt (dltD : : miniTn10) as compared to the dlt(+) wild-type strain under a secretion stress condition (hypersecretion of AmyQ alpha-amylase). The level of HtrA protein in the extracellular proteome of the dltD mutant was decreased consistently. Expression from the promoter of the liaIHGFSR (yvqIHGFEC) operon (P(liaI)) is dependent on the LiaRS TCS. The Dlt defect increased the expression from P(liaI) under two stress conditions, AmyQ hypersecretion and treatment with a cationic antimicrobial peptide (LL-37), but decreased the expression in vancomycin-treated cells. Furthermore, Dlt inactivation enhanced the expression of the YxdJK-regulated yxdL gene in LL-37-treated cells. The increased net negative charge of the cell wall seems to cause varied and opposite effects on the expression of CssRS-, LiaRS- and YxdJK-regulated genes under different stress conditions. The results suggest that TCSs which sense misfolded proteins or peptides are modulated by the density of negative charge in the cell wall. The density of negative charge on the outer surface of the cell membrane did not have a similar effect on TCSs.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transcription profiling of all protein-encoding genes of Bacillus subtilis was carried out under several secretion stress conditions in the exponential growth phase. Cells that secreted AmyQ alpha-amylase at a high level were stressed only moderately: seven genes were induced, most significantly htrA and htrB, encoding quality control proteases, and yqxL, encoding a putative CorA-type Mg(2+) transporter. These three genes were induced more strongly by severe secretion stress (prsA3 mutant secreting AmyQ), suggesting that their expression responds to protein misfolding. In addition, 17 other genes were induced, including the liaIHGFSR (yvqIHGFEC) operon, csaA and ffh, encoding chaperones involved in the pretranslocational phase of secretion, and genes involved in cell wall synthesis/modification. Severe secretion stress caused downregulation of 23 genes, including the prsA paralogue yacD. Analysis of a cssS knockout mutant indicated that the absence of the CssRS two-component system, and consequently the absence of the HtrA and HtrB proteases, caused secretion stress. The results also suggest that the htrA and htrB genes comprise the CssRS regulon. B. subtilis cells respond to secretion/folding stress by various changes in gene expression, which can be seen as an attempt to combat the stress condition.
Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 06/2005; 67(3):389-96. · 3.81 Impact Factor