CotM of Bacillus subtilis, a member of the alpha-crystallin family of stress proteins, is induced during development and participates in spore outer coat formation.
ABSTRACT: We cloned and characterized a gene, cotM, that resides in the 173 degrees region of the Bacillus subtilis chromosome and is involved in spore outer coat assembly. We found that expression of the cotM gene is induced during development under sigma K control and is negatively regulated by the GerE transcription factor. Disruption of the cotM gene resulted in spores with an abnormal pattern of coat proteins. Electron microscopy revealed that the outer coat in cotM mutant spores had lost its multilayered type of organization, presenting a diffuse appearance. In particular, significant amounts of material were absent from the outer coat layers, which in some areas had a lamellar structure more typical of the inner coat. Occasionally, a pattern of closely spaced ridges protruding from its surface was observed. No deficiency associated with the inner coat or any other spore structure was found. CotM is related to the alpha-crystallin family of low-molecular-weight heat shock proteins, members of which can be substrates for transglutaminase-mediated protein cross-linking. CotM was not detected among the extractable spore coat proteins. These observations are consistent with a model according to which CotM is part of a cross-linked insoluble skeleton that surrounds the spore, serves as a matrix for the assembly of additional outer coat material, and confers structural stability to the final structure.
Project description:Bacterial endospores are encased in a complex protein coat, which confers protection against noxious chemicals and influences the germination response. In Bacillus subtilis, over 20 polypeptides are organized into an amorphous undercoat, a lamellar lightly staining inner structure, and an electron-dense outer coat. Here we report on the identification of a polypeptide of about 30 kDa required for proper coat assembly, which was extracted from spores of a gerE mutant. The N-terminal sequence of this polypeptide matched the deduced product of the tasA gene, after removal of a putative 27-residue signal peptide, and TasA was immunologically detected in material extracted from purified spores. Remarkably, deletion of tasA results in the production of asymmetric spores that accumulate misassembled material in one pole and have a greatly expanded undercoat and an altered outer coat structure. Moreover, we found that tasA and gerE mutations act synergistically to decrease the efficiency of spore germination. We show that tasA is the most distal member of a three-gene operon, which also encodes the type I signal peptidase SipW. Expression of the tasA operon is enhanced 2 h after the onset of sporulation, under the control of sigmaH. When tasA transcription is uncoupled from sipW expression, a presumptive TasA precursor accumulates, suggesting that its maturation depends on SipW. Mature TasA is found in supernatants of sporulating cultures and intracellularly from 2 h of sporulation onward. We suggest that, at an early stage of sporulation, TasA is secreted to the septal compartment. Later, after engulfment of the prespore by the mother cell, TasA acts from the septal-proximal pole of the spore membranes to nucleate the organization of the undercoat region. TasA is the first example of a polypeptide involved in coat assembly whose production is not mother cell specific but rather precedes its formation. Our results implicate secretion as a mechanism to target individual proteins to specific cellular locations during the assembly of the bacterial endospore coat.
Project description:The assembly of a multiprotein coat around the Bacillus subtilis spore confers resistance to lytic enzymes and noxious chemicals and ensures normal germination. Part of the coat is cross-linked and resistant to solubilization. The coat contains epsilon-(gamma-glutamyl)lysyl cross-links, and the expression of the gene (tgl) for a spore-associated transglutaminase was shown before to be required for the cross-linking of coat protein GerQ. Here, we have investigated the assembly and function of Tgl. We found that Tgl associates, albeit at somewhat reduced levels, with the coats of mutants that are unable to assemble the outer coat (cotE), that are missing the inner coat and with a greatly altered outer coat (gerE), or that are lacking discernible inner and outer coat structures (cotE gerE double mutant). This suggests that Tgl is present at various levels within the coat lattice. The assembly of Tgl occurs independently of its own activity, as a single amino acid substitution of a cysteine to an alanine (C116A) at the active site of Tgl does not affect its accumulation or assembly. However, like a tgl insertional mutation, the tglC116A allele causes increased extractability of polypeptides of about 40, 28, and 16 kDa in addition to GerQ (20 kDa) and affects the structural integrity of the coat. We show that most Tgl is assembled onto the spore surface soon after its synthesis in the mother cell under sigma(K) control but that the complete insolubilization of at least two of the Tgl-controlled polypeptides occurs several hours later. We also show that a multicopy allele of tgl causes increased assembly of Tgl and affects the assembly, structure, and functional properties of the coat.
Project description:Bacterial spores are encased in a multilayered proteinaceous shell known as the coat. In Bacillus subtilis, over 50 proteins are involved in spore coat assembly but the locations of these proteins in the spore coat are poorly understood. Here, we describe methods to estimate the positions of protein fusions to fluorescent proteins in the spore coat by using fluorescence microscopy. Our investigation suggested that CotD, CotF, CotT, GerQ, YaaH, YeeK, YmaG, YsnD, and YxeE are present in the inner coat and that CotA, CotB, CotC, and YtxO reside in the outer coat. In addition, CotZ and CgeA appeared in the outermost layer of the spore coat and were more abundant at the mother cell proximal pole of the forespore, whereas CotA and CotC were more abundant at the mother cell distal pole of the forespore. These polar localizations were observed both in sporangia prior to the release of the forespore from the mother cell and in mature spores after release. Moreover, CotB was observed at the middle of the spore as a ring- or spiral-like structure. Formation of this structure required cotG expression. Thus, we conclude not only that the spore coat is a multilayered assembly but also that it exhibits uneven spatial distribution of particular proteins.
Project description:To investigate the outermost structure of the Bacillus subtilis spore, we analyzed the accessibility of antibodies to proteins on spores of B. subtilis. Anti-green fluorescent protein (GFP) antibodies efficiently accessed GFP fused to CgeA or CotZ, which were previously assigned to the outermost layer termed the spore crust. However, anti-GFP antibodies did not bind to spores of strains expressing GFP fused to 14 outer coat, inner coat, or cortex proteins. Anti-CgeA antibodies bound to spores of wild-type and CgeA-GFP strains but not cgeA mutant spores. These results suggest that the spore crust covers the spore coat and is the externally exposed, outermost layer of the B. subtilis spore. We found that CotZ was essential for the spore crust to surround the spore but not for spore coat formation, indicating that CotZ plays a critical role in spore crust formation. In addition, we found that CotY-GFP was exposed on the surface of the spore, suggesting that CotY is an additional component of the spore crust. Moreover, the localization of CotY-GFP around the spore depended on CotZ, and CotY and CotZ depended on each other for spore assembly. Furthermore, a disruption of cotW affected the assembly of CotV-GFP, and a disruption of cotX affected the assembly of both CotV-GFP and CgeA-GFP. These results suggest that cgeA and genes in the cotVWXYZ cluster are involved in spore crust formation.
Project description:Myxococcus xanthus is a Gram-negative deltaproteobacterium that has evolved the ability to differentiate into metabolically quiescent spores that are resistant to heat and desiccation. An essential feature of the differentiation processes is the assembly of a rigid, cell wall-like spore coat on the surface of the outer membrane. In this study, we characterize the spore coat composition and describe the machinery necessary for secretion of spore coat material and its subsequent assembly into a stress-bearing matrix. Chemical analyses of isolated spore coat material indicate that the spore coat consists primarily of short 1-4- and 1-3-linked GalNAc polymers that lack significant glycosidic branching and may be connected by glycine peptides. We show that 1-4-linked glucose (Glc) is likely a minor component of the spore coat with the majority of the Glc arising from contamination with extracellular polysaccharides, O-antigen, or storage compounds. Neither of these structures is required for the formation of resistant spores. Our analyses indicate the GalNAc/Glc polymer and glycine are exported by the ExoA-I system, a Wzy-like polysaccharide synthesis and export machinery. Arrangement of the capsular-like polysaccharides into a rigid spore coat requires the NfsA-H proteins, members of which reside in either the cytoplasmic membrane (NfsD, -E, and -G) or outer membrane (NfsA, -B, and -C). The Nfs proteins function together to modulate the chain length of the surface polysaccharides, which is apparently necessary for their assembly into a stress-bearing matrix.
Project description:The coat of Bacillus subtilis spores is a multiprotein protective structure that also arbitrates many of the environmental interactions of the spore. The coat assembles around the cortex peptidoglycan layer and is differentiated into an inner and an outer layer and a crust. SafA governs assembly of the inner coat, whereas CotE drives outer coat assembly. SafA localizes to the cortex-coat interface. Both SafA and its short form C30 are substrates for Tgl, a coat-associated transglutaminase that cross-links proteins through ?-(?-glutamyl)lysyl isopeptide bonds. We show that SafA and C30 are distributed between the coat and cortex layers. The deletion of tgl increases the extractability of SafA, mainly from the cortex. Tgl itself is mostly located in the inner coat and cortex. The localization of Tgl-cyan fluorescent protein (Tgl-CFP) is strongly, but not exclusively, dependent on safA However, the association of Tgl with the cortex requires safA Together, our results suggest an assembly pathway in which Tgl is first recruited to the forming spore in a manner that is only partially dependent on SafA and then is drafted to the cortex by SafA. Tgl, in turn, promotes the conversion of coat- and cortex-associated SafA into forms that resist extraction, possibly by catalyzing the cross-linking of SafA to other coat proteins, to the cortex, and/or to cortex-associated proteins. Therefore, the final assembly state of SafA relies on an autoregulatory pathway that requires the subcellular localization of a protein cross-linking enzyme. Tgl most likely exerts a "spotwelding" activity, cross-linking preformed complexes in the cortex and inner coat layers of spores.IMPORTANCE In this work, we show how two proteins work together to determine their subcellular location within the coat of bacterial endospores. Bacillus subtilis endospores are surrounded by a multilayer protein coat composed of over 80 proteins, which surrounds an underlying peptidoglycan layer (the spore cortex) protecting it from lytic enzymes. How specific coat proteins are targeted to specific layers of the coat is not well understood. We found that the protein SafA recruits a protein-cross-linking enzyme (a transglutaminase) to the cortex and inner layers of the coat, where both are cemented, by cross-linking, into macromolecular complexes.
Project description:Endospores of Bacillus subtilis are encased in a protein shell, known as the spore coat, composed of a lamella-like inner layer and an electron-dense outer layer. We report the identification and characterization of a gene, herein called cotH, located at 300 degrees on the B. subtilis genetic map between two divergent cot genes, cotB and cotG. The cotH open reading frame extended for 1,086 bp and corresponded to a polypeptide of 42.8 kDa. Spores of a cotH null mutant were normally heat, lysozyme, and chloroform resistant but were impaired in germination. The mutant spores were also pleiotropically deficient in several coat proteins, including the products of the previously cloned cotB, -C, and -G genes. On the basis of the analysis of a cotE cotH double mutant, we infer that CotH is probably localized in the inner coat and is involved in the assembly of several proteins in the outer layer of the coat.
Project description:The germination of Bacillus spores is triggered by certain amino acids and sugar molecules which permeate the outermost layers of the spore to interact with receptor complexes that reside in the inner membrane. Previous studies have shown that mutations in the hexacistronic gerP locus reduce the rate of spore germination, with experimental evidence indicating that the defect stems from reduced permeability of the spore coat to germinant molecules. Here, we use the ellipsoid localization microscopy technique to reveal that all six Bacillus cereus GerP proteins share proximity with cortex-lytic enzymes within the inner coat. We also reveal that the GerPA protein alone can localize in the absence of all other GerP proteins and that it has an essential role for the localization of all other GerP proteins within the spore. Its essential role is also demonstrated to be dependent on SafA, but not CotE, for localization, which is consistent with an inner coat location. GerP-null spores are shown also to have reduced permeability to fluorescently labeled dextran molecules compared to wild-type spores. Overall, the results support the hypothesis that the GerP proteins have a structural role within the spore associated with coat permeability.IMPORTANCE The bacterial spore coat comprises a multilayered proteinaceous structure that influences the distribution, survival, and germination properties of spores in the environment. The results from the current study are significant since they increase our understanding of coat assembly and architecture while adding detail to existing models of germination. We demonstrate also that the ellipsoid localization microscopy (ELM) image analysis technique can be used as a novel tool to provide direct quantitative measurements of spore coat permeability. Progress in all of these areas should ultimately facilitate improved methods of spore control in a range of industrial, health care, and environmental sectors.
Project description:Insertional inactivation of the yrbA gene of Bacillus subtilis reduced the resistance of the mutant spores to lysozyme. The yrbA mutant spores lost their optical density at the same rate as the wild-type spores upon incubation with L-alanine but became only phase gray and did not swell. The response of the mutant spores to a combination of asparagine, glucose, fructose, and KCl was also extremely poor; in this medium yrbA spores exhibited only a small loss in optical density and gave a mixture of phase-bright, -gray, and -dark spores. Northern blot analysis of yrbA transcripts in various sig mutants indicated that yrbA was transcribed by RNA polymerase with sigma(E) beginning at 2 h after the start of sporulation. The yrbA promoter was localized by primer extension analysis, and the sequences of the -35 (TCATAAC) and -10 (CATATGT) regions were similar to the consensus sequences of genes recognized by sigma(E). Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of proteins solubilized from intact yrbA mutant spores showed an alteration in the protein profile, as 31- and 36-kDa proteins, identified as YrbA and CotG, respectively, were absent, along with some other minor changes. Electron microscopic examination of yrbA spores revealed changes in the spore coat, including a reduction in the density and thickness of the outer layer and the appearance of an inner coat layer-like structure around the outside of the coat. This abnormal coat structure was also observed on the outside of the developing forespores of the yrbA mutant. These results suggest that YrbA is involved in assembly of some coat proteins which have roles in both spore lysozyme resistance and germination.
Project description:Spores are of high interest to the food and health sectors because of their extreme resistance to harsh conditions, especially against heat. Earlier research has shown that spores prepared on solid agar plates have a higher heat resistance than those prepared under a liquid medium condition. It has also been shown that the more mature a spore is, the higher is its heat resistance most likely mediated, at least in part, by the progressive cross-linking of coat proteins. The current study for the first time assesses, at the proteomic level, the effect of two commonly used sporulation conditions on spore protein presence. 14N spores prepared on solid Schaeffer's-glucose (SG) agar plates and 15N metabolically labeled spores prepared in shake flasks containing 3-(N-morpholino) propane sulfonic acid (MOPS) buffered defined liquid medium differ in their coat protein composition as revealed by LC-FT-MS/MS analyses. The former condition mimics the industrial settings while the latter conditions mimic the routine laboratory environment wherein spores are developed. As seen previously in many studies, the spores prepared on the solid agar plates show a higher thermal resistance than the spores prepared under liquid culture conditions. The 14N:15N isotopic ratio of the 1:1 mixture of the spore suspensions exposes that most of the identified inner coat and crust proteins are significantly more abundant while most of the outer coat proteins are significantly less abundant for the spores prepared on solid SG agar plates relative to the spores prepared in the liquid MOPS buffered defined medium. Sporulation condition-specific differences and variation in isotopic ratios between the tryptic peptides of expected cross-linked proteins suggest that the coat protein cross-linking may also be condition specific. Since the core dipicolinic acid content is found to be similar in both the spore populations, it appears that the difference in wet heat resistance is connected to the differences in the coat protein composition and assembly. Corroborating the proteomic analyses, electron microscopy analyses show a significantly thinner outer coat layer of the spores cultured on the solid agar medium.