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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2001 Jun 25;200(2):229-33.

Lipid modification of prelipoproteins is dispensable for growth in vitro but essential for virulence in Streptococcus pneumoniae.

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GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, Anti-Microbial and Host Defense, Collegeville, PA 19426-0989, USA.


A Deltalgt (Lgt, lipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase) isogenic mutant was obtained which indicates that lgt is not essential for cell growth in vitro, like in the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, but unlike in the proteobacteria Escherichia coli and Salmonella typhimurium. The mutation was transduced to a virulent strain. A 5 log attenuation was observed in a respiratory tract model of infection. Metabolic labeling by [U-14C]palmitate revealed the presence of eight to ten lipoproteins in the wild-type strain only, with molecular masses between 15 and 80 kDa. Our findings suggest a major difference in the role of lipoproteins in Gram-positive bacteria versus the proteobacteria.

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