Acinetobacter baumannii Can Survive with an Outer Membrane Lacking Lipooligosaccharide Due to Structural Support from Elongasome Peptidoglycan Synthesis.
ABSTRACT: Gram-negative bacteria resist external stresses due to cell envelope rigidity, which is provided by two membranes and a peptidoglycan layer. The outer membrane (OM) surface contains lipopolysaccharide (LPS; contains O-antigen) or lipooligosaccharide (LOS). LPS/LOS are essential in most Gram-negative bacteria and may contribute to cellular rigidity. Acinetobacter baumannii is a useful tool for testing these hypotheses as it can survive without LOS. Previously, our group found that strains with naturally high levels of penicillin binding protein 1A (PBP1A) could not become LOS deficient unless the gene encoding it was deleted, highlighting the relevance of peptidoglycan biosynthesis and suggesting that high PBP1A levels were toxic during LOS deficiency. Transposon sequencing and follow-up analysis found that axial peptidoglycan synthesis by the elongasome and a peptidoglycan recycling enzyme, ElsL, were vital in LOS-deficient cells. The toxicity of high PBP1A levels during LOS deficiency was clarified to be due to a negative impact on elongasome function. Our data suggest that during LOS deficiency, the strength of the peptidoglycan specifically imparted by elongasome synthesis becomes essential, supporting that the OM and peptidoglycan contribute to cell rigidity. IMPORTANCE Gram-negative bacteria have a multilayered cell envelope with a layer of cross-linked polymers (peptidoglycan) sandwiched between two membranes. Peptidoglycan was long thought to exclusively provide rigidity to the cell providing mechanical strength. Recently, the most outer membrane of the cell was also proposed to contribute to rigidity due to properties of a unique molecule called lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS is located on the cell surface in the outer membrane and is typically required for growth. By using Acinetobacter baumannii, a Gram-negative bacterium that can grow without LPS, we found that key features of the peptidoglycan structure also become essential. This finding supports that both the outer membrane and peptidoglycan contribute to cell rigidity.
Project description:The Gram-negative bacterial outer membrane fortifies the cell against environmental toxins including antibiotics. Unique glycolipids called lipopolysaccharide/lipooligosaccharide (LPS/LOS) are enriched in the cell-surface monolayer of the outer membrane and promote antimicrobial resistance. Colistin, which targets the lipid A domain of LPS/LOS to lyse the cell, is the last-line treatment for multidrug-resistant Gram-negative infections. Lipid A is essential for the survival of most Gram-negative bacteria, but colistin-resistant Acinetobacter baumannii lacking lipid A were isolated after colistin exposure. Previously, strain ATCC 19606 was the only A. baumannii strain demonstrated to subsist without lipid A. Here, we show that other A. baumannii strains can also survive without lipid A, but some cannot, affording a unique model to study endotoxin essentiality. We assessed the capacity of 15 clinical A. baumannii isolates including 9 recent clinical isolates to develop colistin resistance through inactivation of the lipid A biosynthetic pathway, the products of which assemble the LOS precursor. Our investigation determined that expression of the well-conserved penicillin-binding protein (PBP) 1A, prevented LOS-deficient colony isolation. The glycosyltransferase activity of PBP1A, which aids in the polymerization of the peptidoglycan cell wall, was lethal to LOS-deficient A. baumannii Global transcriptomic analysis of a PBP1A-deficient mutant and four LOS-deficient A. baumannii strains showed a concomitant increase in transcription of lipoproteins and their transporters. Examination of the LOS-deficient A. baumannii cell surface demonstrated that specific lipoproteins were overexpressed and decorated the cell surface, potentially compensating for LOS removal. This work expands our knowledge of lipid A essentiality and elucidates a drug resistance mechanism.
Project description:Most bacterial cells are surrounded by a peptidoglycan cell wall that is essential for their integrity. The major synthases of this exoskeleton are called penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs)1,2. Surprisingly little is known about how cells control these enzymes, given their importance as drug targets. In the model Gram-negative bacterium Escherichia coli, outer membrane lipoproteins are critical activators of the class A PBPs (aPBPs)3,4, bifunctional synthases capable of polymerizing and crosslinking peptidoglycan to build the exoskeletal matrix1. Regulators of PBP activity in Gram-positive bacteria have yet to be discovered but are likely to be distinct due to the absence of an outer membrane. To uncover Gram-positive PBP regulatory factors, we used transposon-sequencing (Tn-Seq)5 to screen for mutations affecting the growth of Streptococcus pneumoniae cells when the aPBP synthase PBP1a was inactivated. Our analysis revealed a set of genes that were essential for growth in wild-type cells yet dispensable when pbp1a was deleted. The proteins encoded by these genes include the conserved cell wall elongation factors MreC and MreD2,6,7, as well as a membrane protein of unknown function (SPD_0768) that we have named CozE (coordinator of zonal elongation). Our results indicate that CozE is a member of the MreCD complex of S. pneumoniae that directs the activity of PBP1a to the midcell plane where it promotes zonal cell elongation and normal morphology. CozE homologues are broadly distributed among bacteria, suggesting that they represent a widespread family of morphogenic proteins controlling cell wall biogenesis by the PBPs.
Project description:In the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, O-antigen segments of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) form a chemomechanical barrier, whereas lipid A moieties anchor LPS molecules. Upon infection, human guanylate binding protein-1 (hGBP1) colocalizes with intracellular gram-negative bacterial pathogens, facilitates bacterial killing, promotes activation of the lipid A sensor caspase-4, and blocks actin-driven dissemination of the enteric pathogen Shigella. The underlying molecular mechanism for hGBP1's diverse antimicrobial functions is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that hGBP1 binds directly to LPS and induces "detergent-like" LPS clustering through protein polymerization. Binding of polymerizing hGBP1 to the bacterial surface disrupts the O-antigen barrier, thereby unmasking lipid A, eliciting caspase-4 recruitment, enhancing antibacterial activity of polymyxin B, and blocking the function of the Shigella outer membrane actin motility factor IcsA. These findings characterize hGBP1 as an LPS-binding surfactant that destabilizes the rigidity of the outer membrane to exert pleiotropic effects on the functionality of gram-negative bacterial cell envelopes.
Project description:In the outer membrane of gram-negative bacteria, O-antigen segments of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) form a chemomechanical barrier, whereas lipid A moieties anchor LPS molecules. Upon infection, human guanylate binding protein-1 (hGBP1) colocalizes with intracellular gram-negative bacterial pathogens, facilitates bacterial killing, promotes activation of the lipid A sensor caspase-4, and blocks actin-driven dissemination of the enteric pathogen Shigella. The underlying molecular mechanism for hGBP1's diverse antimicrobial functions is unknown. Here, we demonstrate that hGBP1 binds directly to LPS and induces 'detergent-like' LPS clustering through protein polymerization. Binding of polymerizing hGBP1 to the bacterial surface disrupts the O-antigen barrier, thereby unmasking lipid A, eliciting caspase-4 recruitment, enhancing antibacterial activity of polymyxin B, and blocking the function of the Shigella outer membrane actin motility factor IcsA. These findings characterize hGBP1 as an LPS-binding surfactant that destabilizes the rigidity of the outer membrane to exert pleiotropic effects on the functionality of gram-negative bacterial cell envelopes.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria such as <i>Escherichia coli</i> are surrounded by an outer membrane, which encloses a peptidoglycan layer. Even if thinner than in many Gram-positive bacteria, the peptidoglycan in <i>E. coli</i> allows cells to withstand turgor pressure in hypotonic medium. In hypertonic medium, <i>E. coli</i> treated with a cell wall synthesis inhibitor such as penicillin G form wall-deficient cells. These so-called L-form cells grow well under anaerobic conditions (i.e., in the absence of oxidative stress), becoming deformed and dividing as L-form. Upon removal of the inhibitor, they return to the walled rod-shaped state. Recently, the outer membrane was reported to provide rigidity to Gram-negative bacteria and to strengthen wall-deficient cells. However, it remains unclear why L-form cells need the outer membrane for growth. Using a microfluidic system, we found that, upon treatment with the outer membrane-disrupting drugs polymyxin B and polymyxin B nonapeptide or with the outer membrane synthesis inhibitor CHIR-090, the cells lysed during cell deformation and division, indicating that the outer membrane was important even in hypertonic medium. L-form cells could return to rod-shaped when trapped in a narrow space, but not in a wide space, likely due to insufficient physical force. Outer membrane rigidity could be compromised by lack of outer membrane proteins; Lpp, OmpA, or Pal. Deletion of <i>lpp</i> caused cells to lyse during cell deformation and cell division. In contrast, <i>ompA</i> and <i>pal</i> mutants could be deformed and return to small oval cells even when less physical force was exerted. These results strongly suggest that wall-deficient <i>E. coli</i> cells require a rigid outer membrane to survive, but not too rigid to prevent them from changing cell shape.
Project description:Gram-negative bacteria have a tripartite cell envelope with the cytoplasmic membrane (CM), a stress-bearing peptidoglycan (PG) layer, and the asymmetric outer membrane (OM) containing lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the outer leaflet. Cells must tightly coordinate the growth of their complex envelope to maintain cellular integrity and OM permeability barrier function. The biogenesis of PG and LPS relies on specialized macromolecular complexes that span the entire envelope. In this work, we show that Escherichia coli cells are capable of avoiding lysis when the transport of LPS to the OM is compromised, by utilizing LD-transpeptidases (LDTs) to generate 3-3 cross-links in the PG. This PG remodeling program relies mainly on the activities of the stress response LDT, LdtD, together with the major PG synthase PBP1B, its cognate activator LpoB, and the carboxypeptidase PBP6a. Our data support a model according to which these proteins cooperate to strengthen the PG in response to defective OM synthesis.IMPORTANCE In Gram-negative bacteria, the outer membrane protects the cell against many toxic molecules, and the peptidoglycan layer provides protection against osmotic challenges, allowing bacterial cells to survive in changing environments. Maintaining cell envelope integrity is therefore a question of life or death for a bacterial cell. Here we show that Escherichia coli cells activate the LD-transpeptidase LdtD to introduce 3-3 cross-links in the peptidoglycan layer when the integrity of the outer membrane is compromised, and this response is required to avoid cell lysis. This peptidoglycan remodeling program is a strategy to increase the overall robustness of the bacterial cell envelope in response to defects in the outer membrane.
Project description:Planctomycete bacteria possess many unusual cellular properties, contributing to a cell plan long considered to be unique among the bacteria. However, data from recent studies are more consistent with a modified Gram-negative cell plan. A key feature of the Gram-negative plan is the presence of an outer membrane (OM), for which lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a signature molecule. Despite genomic evidence for an OM in planctomycetes, no biochemical verification has been reported. We attempted to detect and characterize LPS in the planctomycete Gemmata obscuriglobus. We obtained direct evidence for LPS and lipid A using electrophoresis and differential staining. Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) compositional analysis of LPS extracts identified eight different 3-hydroxy fatty acids (3-HOFAs), 2-keto 3-deoxy-d-manno-octulosonic acid (Kdo), glucosamine, and hexose and heptose sugars, a chemical profile unique to Gram-negative LPS. Combined with molecular/structural information collected from matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight (MALDI-TOF) MS analysis of putative intact lipid A, these data led us to propose a heterogeneous hexa-acylated lipid A structure (multiple-lipid A species). We also confirmed previous reports of G. obscuriglobus whole-cell fatty acid (FA) and sterol compositions and detected a novel polyunsaturated FA (PUFA). Our confirmation of LPS, and by implication an OM, in G. obscuriglobus raises the possibility that other planctomycetes possess an OM. The pursuit of this question, together with studies of the structural connections between planctomycete LPS and peptidoglycans, will shed more light on what appears to be a planctomycete variation on the Gram-negative cell plan.Bacterial species are classified as Gram positive or negative based on their cell envelope structure. For 25 years, the envelope of planctomycete bacteria has been considered a unique exception, as it lacks peptidoglycan and an outer membrane (OM). However, the very recent detection of peptidoglycan in planctomycete species has provided evidence for a more conventional cell wall and raised questions about other elements of the cell envelope. Here, we report direct evidence of lipopolysaccharide in the planctomycete G. obscuriglobus, suggesting the presence of an OM and supporting the proposal that the planctomycete cell envelope is an extension of the canonical Gram-negative plan. This interpretation features a convoluted cytoplasmic membrane and expanded periplasmic space, the functions of which provide an intriguing avenue for future investigation.
Project description:The bacterial cell envelope contains the stress-bearing peptidoglycan layer, which is enlarged during cell growth and division by membrane-anchored synthases guided by cytoskeletal elements. In Escherichia coli, the major peptidoglycan synthase PBP1A requires stimulation by the outer-membrane-anchored lipoprotein LpoA. Whereas the C-terminal domain of LpoA interacts with PBP1A to stimulate its peptide crosslinking activity, little is known about the role of the N-terminal domain. Herein we report its NMR structure, which adopts an all-α-helical fold comprising a series of helix-turn-helix tetratricopeptide-repeat (TPR)-like motifs. NMR spectroscopy of full-length LpoA revealed two extended flexible regions in the C-terminal domain and limited, if any, flexibility between the N- and C-terminal domains. Analytical ultracentrifugation and small-angle X-ray scattering results are consistent with LpoA adopting an elongated shape, with dimensions sufficient to span from the outer membrane through the periplasm to interact with the peptidoglycan synthase PBP1A.
Project description:The outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria is a critical barrier that prevents entry of noxious compounds. Integral to this functionality is the presence of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or lipooligosaccharide (LOS), a molecule that is located exclusively in the outer leaflet of the outer membrane. Its lipid anchor, lipid A, is a glycolipid whose hydrophobicity and net negative charge are primarily responsible for the robustness of the membrane. Because of this, lipid A is a hallmark of Gram-negative physiology and is generally essential for survival. Rare exceptions have been described, including Acinetobacter baumannii, which can survive in the absence of lipid A, albeit with significant growth and membrane permeability defects. Here, we show by an evolution experiment that LOS-deficient A. baumannii can rapidly improve fitness over the course of only 120 generations. We identified two factors which negatively contribute to fitness in the absence of LOS, Mla and PldA. These proteins are involved in glycerophospholipid transport (Mla) and lipid degradation (PldA); both are active only on mislocalized, surface-exposed glycerophospholipids. Elimination of these two mechanisms was sufficient to cause a drastic fitness improvement in LOS-deficient A. baumannii The LOS-deficient double mutant grows as robustly as LOS-positive wild-type bacteria while remaining resistant to the last-resort polymyxin antibiotics. These data provide strong biological evidence for the directionality of Mla-mediated glycerophospholipid transport in Gram-negative bacteria and furthers our knowledge of asymmetry-maintenance mechanisms in the context of the outer membrane barrier.
Project description:In many Gram-negative bacteria, the peptidoglycan synthase PBP1A requires the outer membrane lipoprotein LpoA for constructing a functional peptidoglycan required for bacterial viability. Previously, we have shown that the C-terminal domain of Haemophilus influenzae LpoA (HiLpoA) has a highly conserved, putative substrate-binding cleft between two ?/? lobes. Here, we report a 2.0 Å resolution crystal structure of the HiLpoA N-terminal domain. Two subdomains contain tetratricopeptide-like motifs that form a concave groove, but their relative orientation differs by ?45° from that observed in an NMR structure of the Escherichia coli LpoA N domain. We also determined three 2.0-2.8 Å resolution crystal structures containing four independent full-length HiLpoA molecules. In contrast to an elongated model previously suggested for E. coli LpoA, each HiLpoA formed a U-shaped structure with a different C-domain orientation. This resulted from both N-domain twisting and rotation of the C domain (up to 30°) at the end of the relatively immobile interdomain linker. Moreover, a previously predicted hinge between the lobes of the LpoA C domain exhibited variations of up to 12°. Small-angle X-ray scattering data revealed excellent agreement with a model calculated by normal mode analysis from one of the full-length HiLpoA molecules but even better agreement with an ensemble of this molecule and two of the partially extended normal mode analysis-predicted models. The different LpoA structures helped explain how an outer membrane-anchored LpoA can either withdraw from or extend toward the inner membrane-bound PBP1A through peptidoglycan gaps and hence regulate the synthesis of peptidoglycan necessary for bacterial viability.