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PLoS One. 2012;7(1):e30076. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0030076. Epub 2012 Jan 10.

Cell wall antibiotics provoke accumulation of anchored mCherry in the cross wall of Staphylococcus aureus.

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  • 1Microbial Genetics, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany.

Abstract

A fluorescence microscopy method to directly follow the localization of defined proteins in Staphylococcus was hampered by the unstable fluorescence of fluorescent proteins. Here, we constructed plasmid (pCX) encoded red fluorescence (RF) mCherry (mCh) hybrids, namely mCh-cyto (no signal peptide and no sorting sequence), mCh-sec (with signal peptide), and mCh-cw (with signal peptide and cell wall sorting sequence). The S. aureus clones targeted mCh-fusion proteins into the cytosol, the supernatant and the cell envelope respectively; in all cases mCherry exhibited bright fluorescence. In staphylococci two types of signal peptides (SP) can be distinguished: the +YSIRK motif SP(lip) and the -YSIRK motif SP(sasF). mCh-hybrids supplied with the +YSIRK motif SP(lip) were always expressed higher than those with -YSIRK motif SP(sasF). To study the location of the anchoring process and also the influence of SP type, mCh-cw was supplied on the one hand with +YSIRK motif (mCh-cw1) and the other hand with -YSIRK motif (mCh-cw2). MCh-cw1 preferentially localized at the cross wall, while mCh-cw2 preferentially localized at the peripheral wall. Interestingly, when treated with sub-lethal concentrations of penicillin or moenomycin, both mCh-cw1 and mCh-cw2 were concentrated at the cross wall. The shift from the peripheral wall to the cross wall required Sortase A (SrtA), as in the srtA mutant this effect was blunted. The effect is most likely due to antibiotic mediated increase of free anchoring sites (Lipid II) at the cross wall, the substrate of SrtA, leading to a preferential incorporation of anchored proteins at the cross wall.

PMID:
22253886
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3254641
Free PMC Article
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