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Microbiology. 1999 Jan;145 ( Pt 1):57-65.

Bacillus subtilis 168 gene lytF encodes a gamma-D-glutamate-meso-diaminopimelate muropeptidase expressed by the alternative vegetative sigma factor, sigmaD.

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  • 1Institut de génétique et de biologie microbiennes, Lausanne, Switzerland.


A gamma-D-glutamate-meso-diaminopimelate muropeptidase was detected in the vegetative growth phase of Bacillus subtilis 168. It is encoded by the monocistronic lytF operon expressed by the alternative vegetative sigma factor, sigmaD. Sequence analysis of LytF revealed two domains, an organization common to exoproteins of B. subtilis as well as to those from other organisms. The N-terminal domain contains a fivefold-repeated motif attributed to cell wall binding, whilst the C-terminal domain is probably endowed with the catalytic activity. Overexpression of LytF allowed its purification and biochemical characterization. Inactivation of lytF led to the loss of the cell-wall-bound protein 49' (CWBP49') and of the corresponding lytic activity as revealed by renaturation gel assay. Native cell walls prepared from the multiple lytC lytD lytE lytF-deficient mutant did not exhibit any autolysis, whereas walls prepared from a strain endowed with LytF but not with the other three enzymes underwent a slight lysis. Analysis of degradation products of cell wall devoid of teichoic-acid-bound O-esterified D-alanine unambiguously confirmed that LytF cuts the gamma-D-glutamate-mesodiaminopimelate bond.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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