Streptococcus suis DivIVA Protein Is a Substrate of Ser/Thr Kinase STK and Involved in Cell Division Regulation.
ABSTRACT: Streptococcus suis serotype 2 is an important swine pathogen and an emerging zoonotic agent that causes severe infections. Recent studies have reported a eukaryotic-like Ser/Thr protein kinase (STK) gene and characterized its role in the growth and virulence of different S. suis 2 strains. In the present study, phosphoproteomic analysis was adopted to identify substrates of the STK protein. Seven proteins that were annotated to participate in different cell processes were identified as potential substrates, which suggests the pleiotropic effects of stk on S. suis 2 by targeting multiple pathways. Among them, a protein characterized as cell division initiation protein (DivIVA) was further investigated. In vitro analysis demonstrated that the recombinant STK protein directly phosphorylates threonine at amino acid position 199 (Thr-199) of DivIVA. This effect could be completely abolished by the T199A mutation. To determine the specific role of DivIVA in growth and division, a divIVA mutant was constructed. The ?divIVA strain exhibited impaired growth and division, including lower viability, enlarged cell mass, asymmetrical division caused by aberrant septum, and extremely weak pathogenicity in a mouse infection model. Collectively, our results reveal that STK regulates the cell growth and virulence of S. suis 2 by targeting substrates that are involved in different biological pathways. The inactivation of DivIVA leads to severe defects in cell division and strongly attenuates pathogenicity, thereby indicating its potential as a molecular drug target against S. suis.
Project description:Like eukaryotes, bacteria express one or more serine/threonine kinases (STKs) that initiate diverse signaling networks. The STK from Streptococcus suis is encoded by a single-copy stk gene, which is crucial in stress response and virulence. To further understand the regulatory mechanism of STK in S. suis, a stk deletion strain (?stk) and its complementary strain (C?stk) were constructed to systematically decode STK characteristics by applying whole transcriptome RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) and phosphoproteomic analysis. Numerous genes were differentially expressed in ?stk compared with the wild-type parental strain SC-19, including 320 up-regulated and 219 down-regulated genes. Particularly, 32 virulence-associated genes (VAGs) were significantly down-regulated in ?stk. Seven metabolic pathways relevant to bacterial central metabolism and translation are significantly repressed in ?stk. Phosphoproteomic analysis further identified 12 phosphoproteins that exhibit differential phosphorylation in ?stk. These proteins are associated with cell growth and division, glycolysis, and translation. Consistently, phenotypic assays confirmed that the ?stk strain displayed deficient growth and attenuated pathogenicity. Thus, STK is a central regulator that plays an important role in cell growth and division, as well as S. suis metabolism.
Project description:Eukaryote-like serine/threonine kinases (STKs) and cognate phosphatases (STPs) comprise an important regulatory system in many bacterial pathogens. The complexity of this regulatory system has not been fully understood due to the presence of multiple STKs/STPs in many bacteria and their multiple substrates involved in many different physiological and pathogenetic processes. <i>Streptococci</i> are the best materials for the study due to a single copy of the gene encoding STK and its cognate STP. Although several studies have been done to investigate the roles of STK and STP in zoonotic <i>Streptococcus suis</i>, respectively, few studies were performed on the coordinated regulatory roles of this system. In this study, we carried out a systemic study on STK/STP in <i>S. suis</i> by using a comparative phenotypic, proteomic, and phosphoproteomic analysis. Mouse infection assays revealed that STK played a much more important role in <i>S. suis</i> pathogenesis than STP. The ∆<i>stk</i> and ∆<i>stp</i>∆<i>stk</i> strains, but not ∆<i>stp</i>, showed severe growth retardation. Moreover, both ∆<i>stp</i> and ∆<i>stk</i> strains displayed defects in cell division, but they were abnormal in different ways. The comparative proteomics and phosphoproteomics revealed that deletion of <i>stk</i> or <i>stp</i> had a significant influence on protein expression. Interestingly, more virulence factors were found to be downregulated in ∆<i>stk</i> than ∆<i>stp</i>. In ∆<i>stk</i> strain, a substantial number of the proteins with a reduced phosphorylation level were involved in cell division, energy metabolism, and protein translation. However, only a few proteins showed increased phosphorylation in ∆<i>stp</i>, which also included some proteins related to cell division. Collectively, our results show that both STP and STK are critical regulatory proteins for <i>S. suis</i> and that STK seems to play more important roles in growth, cell division, and pathogenesis.
Project description:The cell wall synthesis pathway producing peptidoglycan is a highly coordinated and tightly regulated process. Although the major components of bacterial cell walls have been known for decades, the complex regulatory network controlling peptidoglycan synthesis and many details of the cell division machinery are not well understood. The eukaryotic-like serine/threonine kinase Stk and the cognate phosphatase Stp play an important role in cell wall biosynthesis and drug resistance in S. aureus. We show that stp deletion has a pronounced impact on cell wall synthesis. Deletion of stp leads to a thicker cell wall and decreases susceptibility to lysostaphin. Stationary phase ?stp cells accumulate peptidoglycan precursors and incorporate higher amounts of incomplete muropeptides with non-glycine, monoglycine and monoalanine interpeptide bridges into the cell wall. In line with this cell wall phenotype, we demonstrate that the lipid II:glycine glycyltransferase FemX can be phosphorylated by the Ser/Thr kinase Stk in vitro. Mass spectrometric analyses identify Thr32, Thr36 and Ser415 as phosphoacceptors. The cognate phosphatase Stp dephosphorylates these phosphorylation sites. Moreover, Stk interacts with FemA and FemB, but is unable to phosphorylate them. Our data indicate that Stk and Stp modulate cell wall synthesis and cell division at several levels.
Project description:Genes encoding one or more Ser/Thr protein kinases have been identified recently in many bacteria, including one (stk) in the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes (group A streptococcus [GAS]). We report that in GAS, stk is required to produce disease in a murine myositis model of infection. Using microarray and quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) studies, we found that Stk activates genes for virulence factors, osmoregulation, metabolism of ?-glucans, and fatty acid biosynthesis, as well as genes affecting cell wall synthesis. Confirming these transcription studies, we determined that the stk deletion mutant is more sensitive to osmotic stress and to penicillin than the wild type. We discuss several possible Stk phosphorylation targets that might explain Stk regulation of expression of specific operons and the possible role of Stk in resuscitation from quiescence.
Project description:How the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae coordinates cell-wall synthesis during growth and division to achieve its characteristic oval shape is poorly understood. The conserved eukaryotic-type Ser/Thr kinase of S. pneumoniae, StkP, previously was reported to phosphorylate the cell-division protein DivIVA. Consistent with a role in cell division, GFP-StkP and its cognate phosphatase, GFP-PhpP, both localize to the division site. StkP localization depends on its penicillin-binding protein and Ser/Thr-associated domains that likely sense uncross-linked peptidoglycan, because StkP and PhpP delocalize in the presence of antibiotics that target the latest stages of cell-wall biosynthesis and in cells that have stopped dividing. Time-lapse microscopy shows that StkP displays an intermediate timing of recruitment to midcell: StkP arrives shortly after FtsA but before DivIVA. Furthermore, StkP remains at midcell longer than FtsA, until division is complete. Cells mutated for stkP are perturbed in cell-wall synthesis and display elongated morphologies with multiple, often unconstricted, FtsA and DivIVA rings. The data show that StkP plays an important role in regulating cell-wall synthesis and controls correct septum progression and closure. Overall, our results indicate that StkP signals information about the cell-wall status to key cell-division proteins and in this way acts as a regulator of cell division.
Project description:Monitoring the external environment and responding to its changes are essential for the survival of all living organisms. The transmission of extracellular signals in prokaryotes is mediated mainly by two-component systems. In addition, genomic analyses have revealed that many bacteria contain eukaryotic-type Ser/Thr protein kinases. The human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae encodes 13 two-component systems and has a single copy of a eukaryotic-like Ser/Thr protein kinase gene designated stkP. Previous studies demonstrated the pleiotropic role of the transmembrane protein kinase StkP in pneumococcal physiology. StkP regulates virulence, competence, and stress resistance and plays a role in the regulation of gene expression. To determine the intracellular signaling pathways controlled by StkP, we used a proteomic approach for identification of its substrates. We detected six proteins phosphorylated on threonine by StkP continuously during growth. We identified three new substrates of StkP: the Mn-dependent inorganic pyrophosphatase PpaC, the hypothetical protein spr0334, and the cell division protein DivIVA. Contrary to the results of a previous study, we did not confirm that the alpha-subunit of RNA polymerase is a target of StkP. We showed that StkP activation and substrate recognition depend on the presence of a peptidoglycan-binding domain comprising four extracellular penicillin-binding protein- and Ser/Thr kinase-associated domain (PASTA domain) repeats. We found that StkP is regulated in a growth-dependent manner and likely senses intracellular peptidoglycan subunits present in the cell division septa. In addition, stkP inactivation results in cell division defects. Thus, the data presented here suggest that StkP plays an important role in the regulation of cell division in pneumococcus.
Project description:Despite years of intensive research, much remains to be discovered to understand the regulatory networks coordinating bacterial cell growth and division. The mechanisms by which Streptococcus pneumoniae achieves its characteristic ellipsoid-cell shape remain largely unknown. In this study, we analyzed the interplay of the cell division paralogs DivIVA and GpsB with the ser/thr kinase StkP. We observed that the deletion of divIVA hindered cell elongation and resulted in cell shortening and rounding. By contrast, the absence of GpsB resulted in hampered cell division and triggered cell elongation. Remarkably, ?gpsB elongated cells exhibited a helical FtsZ pattern instead of a Z-ring, accompanied by helical patterns for DivIVA and peptidoglycan synthesis. Strikingly, divIVA deletion suppressed the elongated phenotype of ?gpsB cells. These data suggest that DivIVA promotes cell elongation and that GpsB counteracts it. Analysis of protein-protein interactions revealed that GpsB and DivIVA do not interact with FtsZ but with the cell division protein EzrA, which itself interacts with FtsZ. In addition, GpsB interacts directly with DivIVA. These results are consistent with DivIVA and GpsB acting as a molecular switch to orchestrate peripheral and septal PG synthesis and connecting them with the Z-ring via EzrA. The cellular co-localization of the transpeptidases PBP2x and PBP2b as well as the lipid-flippases FtsW and RodA in ?gpsB cells further suggest the existence of a single large PG assembly complex. Finally, we show that GpsB is required for septal localization and kinase activity of StkP, and therefore for StkP-dependent phosphorylation of DivIVA. Altogether, we propose that the StkP/DivIVA/GpsB triad finely tunes the two modes of peptidoglycan (peripheral and septal) synthesis responsible for the pneumococcal ellipsoid cell shape.
Project description:Cell division and cell wall synthesis are closely linked complex phenomena and play a crucial role in the maintenance and regulation of bacterial virulence. Eukaryotic-type Ser/Thr kinases reported in prokaryotes, including that in group A Streptococcus (GAS) (Streptococcus pyogenes Ser/Thr kinase (SP-STK)), regulate cell division, growth, and virulence. The mechanism of this regulation is, however, unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that SP-STK-controlled cell division is mediated under the positive regulation of secretory protein that possesses a cysteine and histidine-dependent aminohydrolases/peptidases (CHAP) domain with functionally active cell wall hydrolase activity (henceforth named as CdhA (CHAP-domain-containing and chain-forming cell wall hydrolase). Deletion of the CdhA-encoding gene resulted in severe cell division and growth defects in GAS mutants. The mutant expressing the truncated CdhA (devoid of the CHAP domain), although displayed no such defects, it became attenuated for virulence in mice and highly susceptible to cell wall-acting antibiotics, as observed for the mutant lacking CdhA. When CdhA was overexpressed in the wild-type GAS as well as in heterologous strains, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus, we observed a distinct increase in bacterial chain length. Our data reveal that CdhA is a multifunctional protein with a major function of the N-terminal region as a cell division plane-recognizing domain and that of the C-terminal CHAP domain as a virulence-regulating domain. CdhA is thus an important therapeutic target.
Project description:DivIVA is a conserved protein in Gram-positive bacteria and involved in various processes related to cell growth, cell division and spore formation. DivIVA is specifically targeted to cell division sites and cell poles. In Bacillus subtilis, DivIVA helps to localise other proteins, such as the conserved cell division inhibitor proteins, MinC/MinD, and the chromosome segregation protein, RacA. Little is known about the mechanism that localises DivIVA. Here we show that DivIVA binds to liposomes, and that the N terminus harbours the membrane targeting sequence. The purified protein can stimulate binding of RacA to membranes. In mutants with aberrant cell shapes, DivIVA accumulates where the cell membrane is most strongly curved. On the basis of electron microscopic studies and other data, we propose that this is due to molecular bridging of the curvature by DivIVA multimers. This model may explain why DivIVA localises at cell division sites. A Monte-Carlo simulation study showed that molecular bridging can be a general mechanism for binding of proteins to negatively curved membranes.
Project description:Cellulolytic fungi have evolved a complex regulatory network to maintain the precise balance of nutrients required for growth and hydrolytic enzyme production. When fungi are exposed to cellulose, the transcript levels of cellulase genes rapidly increase and then decline. However, the mechanisms underlying this bell-shaped expression pattern are unclear. We systematically screened a protein kinase deletion set in the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa to search for mutants exhibiting aberrant expression patterns of cellulase genes. We observed that the loss of stk-12 (NCU07378) caused a dramatic increase in cellulase production and an extended period of high transcript abundance of major cellulase genes. These results suggested that stk-12 plays a critical role as a brake to turn down the transcription of cellulase genes to repress the overexpression of hydrolytic enzymes and prevent energy wastage. Transcriptional profiling analyses revealed that cellulase gene expression levels were maintained at high levels for 56 h in the ?stk-12 mutant, compared to only 8 h in the wild-type (WT) strain. After growth on cellulose for 3 days, the transcript levels of cellulase genes in the ?stk-12 mutant were 3.3-fold over WT, and clr-2 (encoding a transcriptional activator) was up-regulated in ?stk-12 while res-1 and rca-1 (encoding two cellulase repressors) were down-regulated. Consequently, total cellulase production in the ?stk-12 mutant was 7-fold higher than in the WT. These results strongly suggest that stk-12 deletion results in dysregulation of the cellulase expression machinery. Further analyses showed that STK-12 directly targets IGO-1 to regulate cellulase production. The TORC1 pathway promoted cellulase production, at least partly, by inhibiting STK-12 function, and STK-12 and CRE-1 functioned in parallel pathways to repress cellulase gene expression. Our results clarify how cellulase genes are repressed at the transcriptional level during cellulose induction, and highlight a new strategy to improve industrial fungal strains.