A nutrient-dependent division antagonist is regulated post-translationally by the Clp proteases in Bacillus subtilis.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Changes in nutrient availability have dramatic and well-defined impacts on both transcription and translation in bacterial cells. At the same time, the role of post-translational control in adaptation to nutrient-poor environments is poorly understood. Previous studies demonstrate the ability of the glucosyltransferase UgtP to influence cell size in response to nutrient availability. Under nutrient-rich medium, interactions with its substrate UDP-glucose promote interactions between UgtP and the tubulin-like cell division protein FtsZ in Bacillus subtilis, inhibiting maturation of the cytokinetic ring and increasing cell size. In nutrient-poor medium, reductions in UDP-glucose availability favor UgtP oligomerization, sequestering it from FtsZ and allowing division to occur at a smaller cell mass. RESULTS:Intriguingly, in nutrient-poor conditions UgtP levels are reduced ~?3-fold independent of UDP-glucose. B. subtilis cells cultured under different nutrient conditions indicate that UgtP accumulation is controlled through a nutrient-dependent post-translational mechanism dependent on the Clp proteases. Notably, all three B. subtilis Clp chaperones appeared able to target UgtP for degradation during growth in nutrient-poor conditions. CONCLUSIONS:Together these findings highlight conditional proteolysis as a mechanism for bacterial adaptation to a rapidly changing nutritional landscape.
Project description:How cells co-ordinate size with growth and development is a major, unresolved question in cell biology. In previous work we identified the glucosyltransferase UgtP as a division inhibitor responsible for increasing the size of Bacillus subtilis cells under nutrient-rich conditions. In nutrient-rich medium, UgtP is distributed more or less uniformly throughout the cytoplasm and concentrated at the cell poles and/or the cytokinetic ring. Under these conditions, UgtP interacts directly with FtsZ to inhibit division and increase cell size. Conversely, under nutrient-poor conditions, UgtP is sequestered away from FtsZ in punctate foci, and division proceeds unimpeded resulting in a reduction in average cell size. Here we report that nutrient-dependent changes in UgtP's oligomerization potential serve as a molecular rheostat to precisely co-ordinate B.?subtilis cell size with nutrient availability. Our data indicate UgtP interacts with itself and the essential cell division protein FtsZ in a high-affinity manner influenced in part by UDP glucose, an intracellular proxy for nutrient availability. These findings support a model in which UDP-glc-dependent changes in UgtP's oligomerization potential shift the equilibrium between UgtP•UgtP and UgtP•FtsZ, fine-tuning the amount of FtsZ available for assembly into the cytokinetic ring and with it cell size.
Project description:Growth rate and nutrient availability are the primary determinants of size in single-celled organisms: rapidly growing Escherichia coli cells are more than twice as large as their slow growing counterparts. Here we report the identification of the glucosyltransferase OpgH as a nutrient-dependent regulator of E. coli cell size. During growth under nutrient-rich conditions, OpgH localizes to the nascent septal site, where it antagonizes assembly of the tubulin-like cell division protein FtsZ, delaying division and increasing cell size. Biochemical analysis is consistent with OpgH sequestering FtsZ from growing polymers. OpgH is functionally analogous to UgtP, a Bacillus subtilis glucosyltransferase that inhibits cell division in a growth rate-dependent fashion. In a striking example of convergent evolution, OpgH and UgtP share no homology, have distinct enzymatic activities, and appear to inhibit FtsZ assembly through different mechanisms. Comparative analysis of E. coli and B. subtilis reveals conserved aspects of growth rate regulation and cell size control that are likely to be broadly applicable. These include the conservation of uridine diphosphate glucose as a proxy for nutrient status and the use of moonlighting enzymes to couple growth rate-dependent phenomena to central metabolism.
Project description:Nutrient availability is one of the strongest determinants of cell size. When grown in rich media, single-celled organisms such as yeast and bacteria can be up to twice the size of their slow-growing counterparts. The ability to modulate size in a nutrient-dependent manner requires cells to: (1) detect when they have reached the appropriate mass for a given growth rate and (2) transmit this information to the division apparatus. We report the identification of a metabolic sensor that couples nutritional availability to division in Bacillus subtilis. A key component of this sensor is an effector, UgtP, which localizes to the division site in a nutrient-dependent manner and inhibits assembly of the tubulin-like cell division protein FtsZ. This sensor serves to maintain a constant ratio of FtsZ rings to cell length regardless of growth rate and ensures that cells reach the appropriate mass and complete chromosome segregation prior to cytokinesis.
Project description:Bacillus subtilis sporulation is a last-resort phenotypical adaptation in response to starvation. The regulatory network underlying this developmental pathway has been studied extensively. However, how sporulation initiation is concerted in relation to the environmental nutrient availability is poorly understood. In a fed-batch fermentation set-up, in which sporulation of ultraviolet (UV)-mutagenized B. subtilis is repeatedly triggered by periods of starvation, fitter strains with mutated tagE evolved. These mutants display altered timing of phenotypical differentiation. The substrate for the wall teichoic acid (WTA)-modifying enzyme TagE, UDP-glucose, has recently been shown to be an intracellular proxy for nutrient availability, and influences the timing of cell division. Here we suggest that UDP-glucose also influences timing of cellular differentiation.
Project description:In natural environments, microbes are typically non-dividing and gauge when nutrients permit division. Current models are phenomenological and specific to nutrient-rich, exponentially growing cells, thus cannot predict the first division under limiting nutrient availability. To assess this regime, we supplied starving Escherichia coli with glucose pulses at increasing frequencies. Real-time metabolomics and microfluidic single-cell microscopy revealed unexpected, rapid protein, and nucleic acid synthesis already from minuscule glucose pulses in non-dividing cells. Additionally, the lag time to first division shortened as pulsing frequency increased. We pinpointed division timing and dependence on nutrient frequency to the changing abundance of the division protein FtsZ. A dynamic, mechanistic model quantitatively relates lag time to FtsZ synthesis from nutrient pulses and FtsZ protease-dependent degradation. Lag time changed in model-congruent manners, when we experimentally modulated the synthesis or degradation of FtsZ. Thus, limiting abundance of FtsZ can quantitatively predict timing of the first cell division.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Cell division in bacteria is driven by a cytoskeletal ring structure, the Z ring, composed of polymers of the tubulin-like protein FtsZ. Z-ring formation must be tightly regulated to ensure faithful cell division, and several mechanisms that influence the positioning and timing of Z-ring assembly have been described. Another important but as yet poorly understood aspect of cell division regulation is the need to coordinate division with cell growth and nutrient availability. In this study, we demonstrated for the first time that cell division is intimately linked to central carbon metabolism in the model Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis. We showed that a deletion of the gene encoding pyruvate kinase (pyk), which produces pyruvate in the final reaction of glycolysis, rescues the assembly defect of a temperature-sensitive ftsZ mutant and has significant effects on Z-ring formation in wild-type B. subtilis cells. Addition of exogenous pyruvate restores normal division in the absence of the pyruvate kinase enzyme, implicating pyruvate as a key metabolite in the coordination of bacterial growth and division. Our results support a model in which pyruvate levels are coupled to Z-ring assembly via an enzyme that actually metabolizes pyruvate, the E1? subunit of pyruvate dehydrogenase. We have shown that this protein localizes over the nucleoid in a pyruvate-dependent manner and may stimulate more efficient Z-ring formation at the cell center under nutrient-rich conditions, when cells must divide more frequently.<h4>Importance</h4>How bacteria coordinate cell cycle processes with nutrient availability and growth is a fundamental yet unresolved question in microbiology. Recent breakthroughs have revealed that nutritional information can be transmitted directly from metabolic pathways to the cell cycle machinery and that this can serve as a mechanism for fine-tuning cell cycle processes in response to changes in environmental conditions. Here we identified a novel link between glycolysis and cell division in Bacillus subtilis. We showed that pyruvate, the final product of glycolysis, plays an important role in maintaining normal division. Nutrient-dependent changes in pyruvate levels affect the function of the cell division protein FtsZ, most likely by modifying the activity of an enzyme that metabolizes pyruvate, namely, pyruvate dehydrogenase E1?. Ultimately this system may help to coordinate bacterial division with nutritional conditions to ensure the survival of newborn cells.
Project description:Antibiotic acyldepsipeptides (ADEPs) deregulate ClpP, the proteolytic core of the bacterial Clp protease, thereby inhibiting its native functions and concomitantly activating it for uncontrolled proteolysis of nonnative substrates. Importantly, although ADEP-activated ClpP is assumed to target multiple polypeptide and protein substrates in the bacterial cell, not all proteins seem equally susceptible. In Bacillus subtilis, the cell division protein FtsZ emerged to be particularly sensitive to degradation by ADEP-activated ClpP at low inhibitory ADEP concentrations. In fact, FtsZ is the only bacterial protein that has been confirmed to be degraded in vitro as well as within bacterial cells so far. However, the molecular reason for this preferred degradation remained elusive. Here, we report the unexpected finding that ADEP-activated ClpP alone, in the absence of any Clp-ATPase, leads to an unfolding and subsequent degradation of the N-terminal domain of FtsZ, which can be prevented by the stabilization of the FtsZ fold via nucleotide binding. At elevated antibiotic concentrations, importantly, the C terminus of FtsZ is notably targeted for degradation in addition to the N terminus. Our results show that different target structures are more or less accessible to ClpP, depending on the ADEP level present. Moreover, our data assign a Clp-ATPase-independent protein unfolding capability to the ClpP core of the bacterial Clp protease and suggest that the protein fold of FtsZ may be more flexible than previously anticipated.IMPORTANCE Acyldepsipeptide (ADEP) antibiotics effectively kill multidrug-resistant Gram-positive pathogens, including vancomycin-resistant enterococcus, penicillin-resistant Streptococcus pneumoniae (PRSP), and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). The antibacterial activity of ADEP depends on a new mechanism of action, i.e., the deregulation of bacterial protease ClpP that leads to bacterial self-digestion. Our data allow new insights into the mode of ADEP action by providing a molecular explanation for the distinct bacterial phenotypes observed at low versus high ADEP concentrations. In addition, we show that ClpP alone, in the absence of any unfoldase or energy-consuming system, and only activated by the small molecule antibiotic ADEP, leads to the unfolding of the cell division protein FtsZ.
Project description:Cell division in bacteria is initiated by the polymerization of FtsZ into a ring-like structure at midcell that functions as a scaffold for the other cell division proteins. In Bacillus subtilis, the conserved cell division protein EzrA is involved in modulation of Z-ring formation and coordination of septal peptidoglycan synthesis. Here, we show that an ezrA mutant is hypersensitive to tetracycline, even when the tetracycline efflux pump TetA is present. This effect is not related to the protein translation inhibiting activity of tetracycline. Overexpression of FtsL suppresses this phenotype, which appears to be related to the intrinsic low FtsL levels in an ezrA mutant background. A transposon screen indicated that the tetracycline effect can also be suppressed by overproduction of the cell division protein ZapA. In addition, tetracycline sensitivity could be suppressed by transposon insertions in galE and the unknown gene ypmB, which was renamed tseB (tetracycline sensitivity suppressor of ezrA). GalE is an epimerase using UDP-glucose and UDP-N-acetylglucosamine as substrate. Deletion of this protein bypasses the synthetic lethality of zapA ezrA and sepF ezrA double mutations, indicating that GalE influences cell division. The transmembrane protein TseB contains an extracytoplasmic peptidase domain, and a GFP fusion shows that the protein is enriched at cell division sites. A tseB deletion causes a shorter cell phenotype, indicating that TseB plays a role in cell division. Why a deletion of ezrA renders B. subtilis cells hypersensitive for tetracycline remains unclear. We speculate that this phenomenon is related to the tendency of tetracycline analogs to accumulate into the lipid bilayer, which may destabilize certain membrane proteins.
Project description:The peptidoglycan layer is responsible for maintaining bacterial cell shape and permitting cell division. Cell wall growth is facilitated by peptidoglycan synthases and hydrolases and is potentially modulated by components of the central carbon metabolism. In Bacillus subtilis, UgtP synthesises the glucolipid precursor for lipoteichoic acid and has been suggested to function as a metabolic sensor governing cell size. Here we show that ugtP mutant cells have increased levels of cell wall precursors and changes in their peptidoglycan that suggest elevated DL-endopeptidase activity. The additional deletion of lytE, encoding a DL-endopeptidase important for cell elongation, in the ugtP mutant background produced cells with severe shape defects. Interestingly, the ugtP lytE mutant recovered normal rod-shape by acquiring mutations that decreased the expression of the peptidoglycan synthase PBP1. Together our results suggest that cells lacking ugtP must re-adjust the balance between peptidoglycan synthesis and hydrolysis to maintain proper cell morphology.
Project description:Bacterial cell division typically requires assembly of the cytoskeletal protein FtsZ into a ring (Z-ring) at the nascent division site that serves as a foundation for assembly of the division apparatus. High resolution imaging suggests that the Z-ring consists of short, single-stranded polymers held together by lateral interactions. Several proteins implicated in stabilizing the Z-ring enhance lateral interactions between FtsZ polymers in vitro. Here we report that residues at the C terminus of Bacillus subtilis FtsZ (C-terminal variable region (CTV)) are both necessary and sufficient for stimulating lateral interactions in vitro in the absence of modulatory proteins. Swapping the 6-residue CTV from B. subtilis FtsZ with the 4-residue CTV from Escherichia coli FtsZ completely abolished lateral interactions between chimeric B. subtilis FtsZ polymers. The E. coli FtsZ chimera readily formed higher order structures normally seen only in the presence of molecular crowding agents. CTV-mediated lateral interactions are important for the integrity of the Z-ring because B. subtilis cells expressing the B. subtilis FtsZ chimera had a low frequency of FtsZ ring formation and a high degree of filamentation relative to wild-type cells. Site-directed mutagenesis of the B. subtilis CTV suggests that electrostatic forces are an important determinant of lateral interaction potential.