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A spoIID homolog cleaves glycan strands at the chlamydial division septum

Published inmBio, vol. 10, no. 4, p. e01128-19
Publication date2019
Abstract

Chlamydiales species are obligate intracellular bacteria lacking a classical peptidoglycan sacculus but relying on peptidoglycan synthesis for cytokinesis. While septal peptidoglycan biosynthesis seems to be regulated by MreB actin and its membrane anchor RodZ rather than FtsZ tubulin in Chlamydiales, the mechanism of peptidoglycan remodeling is poorly understood. An amidase conserved in Chlamydiales is able to cleave peptide stems in peptidoglycan, but it is not clear how peptidoglycan glycan strands are cleaved since no classical lytic transglycosylase is encoded in chlamydial genomes. However, a protein containing a SpoIID domain, known to possess transglycosylase activity in Bacillus subtilis, is conserved in Chlamydiales We show here that the SpoIID homologue of the Chlamydia-related pathogen Waddlia chondrophila is a septal peptidoglycan-binding protein. Moreover, we demonstrate that SpoIID acts as a lytic transglycosylase on peptidoglycan and as a muramidase on denuded glycan strands in vitro As SpoIID-like proteins are widespread in nonsporulating bacteria, SpoIID might commonly be a septal peptidoglycan remodeling protein in bacteria, including obligate intracellular pathogens, and thus might represent a promising drug target.IMPORTANCEChlamydiales species are obligate intracellular bacteria and important human pathogens that have a minimal division machinery lacking the proteins that are essential for bacterial division in other species, such as FtsZ. Chlamydial division requires synthesis of peptidoglycan, which forms a ring at the division septum and is rapidly turned over. However, little is known of peptidoglycan degradation, because many peptidoglycan-degrading enzymes are not encoded by chlamydial genomes. Here we show that an homologue of SpoIID, a peptidoglycan-degrading enzyme involved in sporulation of bacteria such as Bacillus subtilis, is expressed in Chlamydiales, localizes at the division septum, and degrades peptidoglycan in vitro, indicating that SpoIID is not only involved in sporulation but also likely implicated in division of some bacteria.

Citation (ISO format)
JACQUIER, Nicolas et al. A spoIID homolog cleaves glycan strands at the chlamydial division septum. In: mBio, 2019, vol. 10, n° 4, p. e01128–19. doi: 10.1128/mBio.01128-19
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ISSN of the journal2150-7511
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