Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Bacteriol. 2003 Feb;185(4):1147-52.

Branching of Escherichia coli cells arises from multiple sites of inert peptidoglycan.

Author information

  • 1Centro de Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa," Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Campus de Cantoblanco, 28049 Madrid, Spain. madepedro@cbm.uam.es

Abstract

Some strains of Escherichia coli defective for dacA, the gene coding for penicillin-binding protein 5, exhibit a strong branching phenotype when cell division is blocked. Since such branch formation implies a differentiation of polar caps at ectopic locations in the cell envelope, we analyzed murein segregation and observed a strong correlation between areas of inert murein and these morphological anomalies. In particular, the tips of branches exhibited the same properties as those described for polar caps of wild-type cells, i.e., the synthesis and turnover of murein were inhibited. Also, the mobility of cell envelope proteins was apparently constrained in areas with morphological defects. Polar regions of branching cells and sacculi had aberrant morphologies with a very high frequency. Of special interest was that areas of inert murein at polar caps were often split by areas of active synthesis, a situation unlike that observed in wild-type cells. These observations suggest that in dacA mutants, branches and other morphological anomalies may arise from split polar caps or by de novo generation of new poles built around inert peptidoglycan patches in the side walls of the cell.

PMID:
12562782
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC142844
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk