Conserved mechanism of cell-wall synthase regulation revealed by the identification of a new PBP activator in Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
ABSTRACT: Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) are synthases required to build the essential peptidoglycan (PG) cell wall surrounding most bacterial cells. The mechanisms regulating the activity of these enzymes to control PG synthesis remain surprisingly poorly defined given their status as key antibiotic targets. Several years ago, the outer-membrane lipoprotein EcLpoB was identified as a critical activator of Escherichia coli PBP1b (EcPBP1b), one of the major PG synthases of this organism. Activation of EcPBP1b is mediated through the association of EcLpoB with a regulatory domain on EcPBP1b called UB2H. Notably, Pseudomonas aeruginosa also encodes PBP1b (PaPBP1b), which possesses a UB2H domain, but this bacterium lacks an identifiable LpoB homolog. We therefore searched for potential PaPBP1b activators and identified a lipoprotein unrelated to LpoB that is required for the in vivo activity of PaPBP1b. We named this protein LpoP and found that it interacts directly with PaPBP1b in vitro and is conserved in many Gram-negative species. Importantly, we also demonstrated that PaLpoP-PaPBP1b as well as an equivalent protein pair from Acinetobacter baylyi can fully substitute for EcLpoB-EcPBP1b in E. coli for PG synthesis. Furthermore, we show that amino acid changes in PaPBP1b that bypass the PaLpoP requirement map to similar locations in the protein as changes promoting EcLpoB bypass in EcPBP1b. Overall, our results indicate that, although different Gram-negative bacteria activate their PBP1b synthases with distinct lipoproteins, they stimulate the activity of these important drug targets using a conserved mechanism.
Project description:Bacteria surround their cytoplasmic membrane with an essential, stress-bearing peptidoglycan (PG) layer consisting of glycan chains linked by short peptides into a mesh-like structure. Growing and dividing cells expand their PG layer using inner-membrane anchored PG synthases, including Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), which participate in dynamic protein complexes to facilitate cell wall growth. In Escherichia coli, and presumably other Gram-negative bacteria, growth of the mainly single layered PG is regulated by outer membrane-anchored lipoproteins. The lipoprotein LpoB is required to activate PBP1B, which is a major, bi-functional PG synthase with glycan chain polymerising (glycosyltransferase) and peptide cross-linking (transpeptidase) activities. In this work we show how the binding of LpoB to the regulatory UB2H domain of PBP1B activates both activities. Binding induces structural changes in the UB2H domain, which transduce to the two catalytic domains by distinct allosteric pathways. We also show how an additional regulator protein, CpoB, is able to selectively modulate the TPase activation by LpoB without interfering with GTase activation.
Project description:To fortify their cytoplasmic membrane and protect it from osmotic rupture, most bacteria surround themselves with a peptidoglycan (PG) exoskeleton synthesized by the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). As their name implies, these proteins are the targets of penicillin and related antibiotics. We and others have shown that the PG synthases PBP1b and PBP1a of Escherichia coli require the outer membrane lipoproteins LpoA and LpoB, respectively, for their in vivo function. Although it has been demonstrated that LpoB activates the PG polymerization activity of PBP1b in vitro, the mechanism of activation and its physiological relevance have remained unclear. We therefore selected for variants of PBP1b (PBP1b*) that bypass the LpoB requirement for in vivo function, reasoning that they would shed light on LpoB function and its activation mechanism. Several of these PBP1b variants were isolated and displayed elevated polymerization activity in vitro, indicating that the activation of glycan polymer growth is indeed one of the relevant functions of LpoB in vivo. Moreover, the location of amino acid substitutions causing the bypass phenotype on the PBP1b structure support a model in which polymerization activation proceeds via the induction of a conformational change in PBP1b initiated by LpoB binding to its UB2H domain, followed by its transmission to the glycosyl transferase active site. Finally, phenotypic analysis of strains carrying a PBP1b* variant revealed that the PBP1b-LpoB complex is most likely not providing an important physical link between the inner and outer membranes at the division site, as has been previously proposed.
Project description:Peptidoglycan (PG) is an essential component in the cell wall of nearly all bacteria, forming a continuous, mesh-like structure, called the sacculus, around the cytoplasmic membrane to protect the cell from bursting by its turgor. Although PG synthases, the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), have been studied for 70 years, useful in vitro assays for measuring their activities were established only recently, and these provided the first insights into the regulation of these enzymes. Here, we review the current knowledge on the glycosyltransferase and transpeptidase activities of PG synthases. We provide new data showing that the bifunctional PBP1A and PBP1B from Escherichia coli are active upon reconstitution into the membrane environment of proteoliposomes, and that these enzymes also exhibit DD-carboxypeptidase activity in certain conditions. Both novel features are relevant for their functioning within the cell. We also review recent data on the impact of protein-protein interactions and other factors on the activities of PBPs. As an example, we demonstrate a synergistic effect of multiple protein-protein interactions on the glycosyltransferase activity of PBP1B, by its cognate lipoprotein activator LpoB and the essential cell division protein FtsN.
Project description:In Escherichia coli , the bifunctional penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs), PBP1A and PBP1B, play critical roles in the final stage of peptidoglycan (PG) biosynthesis. These synthetic enzymes each possess a PG glycosyltransferase (PGT) domain and a transpeptidase (TP) domain. Recent genetic experiments have shown that PBP1A and PBP1B each require an outer membrane lipoprotein, LpoA and LpoB, respectively, to function properly in vivo. Here, we use complementary assays to show that LpoA and LpoB each increase the PGT and TP activities of their cognate PBPs, albeit by different mechanisms. LpoA directly increases the rate of the PBP1A TP reaction, which also results in enhanced PGT activity; in contrast, LpoB directly affects PGT domain activity, resulting in enhanced TP activity. These studies demonstrate bidirectional coupling of PGT and TP domain function. Additionally, the transpeptidation assay described here can be applied to study other activators or inhibitors of the TP domain of PBPs, which are validated drug targets.
Project description:Bacteria surround their cytoplasmic membrane with an essential, stress-bearing peptidoglycan (PG) layer. Growing and dividing cells expand their PG layer by using membrane-anchored PG synthases, which are guided by dynamic cytoskeletal elements. In Escherichia coli, growth of the mainly single-layered PG is also regulated by outer membrane-anchored lipoproteins. The lipoprotein LpoB is required for the activation of penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 1B, which is a major, bifunctional PG synthase with glycan chain polymerizing (glycosyltransferase) and peptide cross-linking (transpeptidase) activities. Here, we report the structure of LpoB, determined by NMR spectroscopy, showing an N-terminal, 54-aa-long flexible stretch followed by a globular domain with similarity to the N-terminal domain of the prevalent periplasmic protein TolB. We have identified the interaction interface between the globular domain of LpoB and the noncatalytic UvrB domain 2 homolog domain of PBP1B and modeled the complex. Amino acid exchanges within this interface weaken the PBP1B-LpoB interaction, decrease the PBP1B stimulation in vitro, and impair its function in vivo. On the contrary, the N-terminal flexible stretch of LpoB is required to stimulate PBP1B in vivo, but is dispensable in vitro. This supports a model in which LpoB spans the periplasm to interact with PBP1B and stimulate PG synthesis.
Project description:Growth of the mesh-like peptidoglycan (PG) sacculus located between the bacterial inner and outer membranes (OM) is tightly regulated to ensure cellular integrity, maintain cell shape, and orchestrate division. Cytoskeletal elements direct placement and activity of PG synthases from inside the cell, but precise spatiotemporal control over this process is poorly understood. We demonstrate that PG synthases are also controlled from outside of the sacculus. Two OM lipoproteins, LpoA and LpoB, are essential for the function, respectively, of PBP1A and PBP1B, the major E. coli bifunctional PG synthases. Each Lpo protein binds specifically to its cognate PBP and stimulates its transpeptidase activity, thereby facilitating attachment of new PG to the sacculus. LpoB shows partial septal localization, and our data suggest that the LpoB-PBP1B complex contributes to OM constriction during cell division. LpoA/LpoB and their PBP-docking regions are restricted to ?-proteobacteria, providing models for niche-specific regulation of sacculus growth.
Project description:Peptidoglycan is a vital component of nearly all cell wall-bearing bacteria and is a valuable target for antibacterial therapy. However, despite decades of work, there remain important gaps in understanding how this macromolecule is synthesized and molded into a three-dimensional structure that imparts specific morphologies to individual cells. Here, we investigated the particularly enigmatic area of how peptidoglycan is synthesized and shaped during the first stages of creating cell shape de novo, that is, in the absence of a preexisting template. We found that when lysozyme-induced (LI) spheroplasts of Escherichia coli were allowed to resynthesize peptidoglycan, the cells divided first and then elongated to recreate a normal rod-shaped morphology. Penicillin binding protein 1B (PBP1B) was critical for the first stage of this recovery process. PBP1B synthesized peptidoglycan de novo, and this synthesis required that PBP1B interact with the outer membrane lipoprotein LpoB. Surprisingly, when LpoB was localized improperly to the inner membrane, recovering spheroplasts synthesized peptidoglycan and divided but then propagated as amorphous spheroidal cells, suggesting that the regeneration of a normal rod shape depends on a particular spatial interaction. Similarly, spheroplasts carrying a PBP1B variant lacking transpeptidase activity or those in which PBP1A was overproduced could synthesize new peptidoglycan and divide but then grew as oddly shaped spheroids. We conclude that de novo cell wall synthesis requires the glycosyltransferase activity of PBP1B but that PBP1B transpeptidase activity is needed to assemble cell walls with wild-type morphology.IMPORTANCE Bacterial cell wall peptidoglycan is synthesized and modified by penicillin binding proteins (PBPs), which are targeted by about half of all currently prescribed antibiotics, including penicillin and its derivatives. Because antibiotic resistance is rising, it has become increasingly urgent that we fill the gaps in our knowledge about how PBPs create and assemble this protective wall. We report here that PBP1B plays an essential role in synthesizing peptidoglycan in the absence of a preexisting template: its glycosyltransferase activity is responsible for de novo synthesis, while its transpeptidase activity is required to construct cell walls of a specific shape. These results highlight the importance of this enzyme and distinguish its biological roles from those of other PBPs and peptidoglycan synthases.
Project description:To maintain cellular structure and integrity during division, Gram-negative bacteria must carefully coordinate constriction of a tripartite cell envelope of inner membrane, peptidoglycan (PG), and outer membrane (OM). It has remained enigmatic how this is accomplished. Here, we show that envelope machines facilitating septal PG synthesis (PBP1B-LpoB complex) and OM constriction (Tol system) are physically and functionally coordinated via YbgF, renamed CpoB (Coordinator of PG synthesis and OM constriction, associated with PBP1B). CpoB localizes to the septum concurrent with PBP1B-LpoB and Tol at the onset of constriction, interacts with both complexes, and regulates PBP1B activity in response to Tol energy state. This coordination links PG synthesis with OM invagination and imparts a unique mode of bifunctional PG synthase regulation by selectively modulating PBP1B cross-linking activity. Coordination of the PBP1B and Tol machines by CpoB contributes to effective PBP1B function in vivo and maintenance of cell envelope integrity during division.
Project description:The enzymes responsible for the synthesis of the peptidoglycan (PG) layer constitute a fundamental target for a large group of antibiotics. The family of ?-lactam antibiotics inhibits the DD-transpeptidase (TPase) activity of the penicillin binding proteins (PBPs), whereas its subgroup of carbapenems can also block the TPase activity of the LD-TPases. D-Ala fluorescent probes, such as NADA, are incorporated into the PG presumably by TPases in Escherichia coli and can be used to study conditions that are required for their function. Of all LD-TPases of E. coli, only LdtD was able to incorporate NADA during exponential growth. Overproduction of LdtD caused NADA to be especially inserted at mid cell in the presence of LpoB-activated PBP1b and the class C PBP5. Using the NADA assay, we could confirm that LpoB activates PBP1b at mid cell and that CpoB regulates the activity of PBP1b in vivo. Overproduction of LdtD was able to partly compensate for the inhibition of the cell division specific class B PBP3 by aztreonam. We showed that class A PBP1c and the class C PBP6b cooperated with LdtD for NADA incorporation when PBP1b and PBP5 were absent, respectively. Besides, we proved that LdtD is active at pH 7.0 whereas LdtE and LdtF are more active in cells growing at pH 5.0 and they seem to cooperate synergistically. The NADA assay proved to be a useful tool for the analysis of the in vivo activities of the proteins involved in PG synthesis and our results provide additional evidence that the LD-TPases are involved in PG maintenance at different conditions.
Project description:Peptidoglycan (PG) is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall that maintains the shape and integrity of the cell. The PG precursor lipid II is assembled at the inner leaflet of the cytoplasmic membrane, translocated to the periplasmic side, and polymerized to glycan chains by membrane anchored PG synthases, such as the class A Penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). Polymerization of PG releases the diphosphate form of the carrier lipid, undecaprenyl pyrophosphate (C55-PP), which is converted to the monophosphate form by membrane-embedded pyrophosphatases, generating C55-P for a new round of PG precursor synthesis. Here we report that deletion of the C55-PP pyrophosphatase gene pgpB in E. coli increases the susceptibility to cefsulodin, a ?-lactam specific for PBP1A, indicating that the cellular function of PBP1B is impaired in the absence of PgpB. Purified PBP1B interacted with PgpB and another C55-PP pyrophosphatase, BacA and both, PgpB and BacA stimulated the glycosyltransferase activity of PBP1B. C55-PP was found to be a potent inhibitor of PBP1B. Our data suggest that the stimulation of PBP1B by PgpB is due to the faster removal and processing of C55-PP, and that PBP1B interacts with C55-PP phosphatases during PG synthesis to couple PG polymerization with the recycling of the carrier lipid and prevent product inhibition by C55-PP.