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J Biol Chem. 1999 Mar 5;274(10):6726-34.

Demonstration of molecular interactions between the murein polymerase PBP1B, the lytic transglycosylase MltA, and the scaffolding protein MipA of Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie, Abteilung Biochemie, Spemannstrasse 35, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.


Enlargement of the stress-bearing murein sacculus of bacteria depends on the coordinated interaction of murein synthases and hydrolases. To understand the mechanism of interaction of these two classes of proteins affinity chromatography and surface plasmon resonance (SPR) studies were performed. The membrane-bound lytic transglycosylase MltA when covalently linked to CNBr-activated Sepharose specifically retained the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) 1B, 1C, 2, and 3 from a crude Triton X-100 membrane extract of Escherichia coli. In the presence of periplasmic proteins also PBP1A was specifically bound. At least five different non-PBPs showed specificity for MltA-Sepharose. The amino-terminal amino acid sequence of one of these proteins could be obtained, and the corresponding gene was mapped at 40 min on the E. coli genome. This MltA-interacting protein, named MipA, in addition binds to PBP1B, a bifunctional murein transglycosylase/transpeptidase. SPR studies with PBP1B immobilized to ampicillin-coated sensor chips showed an oligomerization of PBP1B that may indicate a dimerization. Simultaneous application of MipA and MltA onto a PBP1B sensor chip surface resulted in the formation of a trimeric complex. The dissociation constant was determined to be about 10(-6) M. The formation of a complex between a murein polymerase (PBP1B) and a murein hydrolase (MltA) in the presence of MipA represents a first step in a reconstitution of the hypothetical murein-synthesizing holoenzyme, postulated to be responsible for controlled growth of the stress-bearing sacculus of E. coli.

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