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J Appl Microbiol. 2005;98(1):84-95.

Cell wall modifications during osmotic stress in Lactobacillus casei.

Author information

1
Departamento de Química Biológica, Facultad Ciencias Exactas y Naturales, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Ciudad Universitaria, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Abstract

AIMS:

To study the modification of the cell wall of Lactobacillus casei ATCC 393 grown in high salt conditions.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Differences in the overall structure of cell wall between growth in high salt (MRS + 1 mol l(-1) NaCl; N condition) and control (MRS; C condition) conditions were determined by transmission electronic microscopy and analytical procedures. Lactobacillus casei cells grown in N condition were significantly larger than cells grown under unstressed C condition. Increased sensitivity to mutanolysin and antibiotics with target in the cell wall was observed in N condition. Purified cell wall also showed the increased sensitivity to lysis by mutanolysin. Analysis of peptidoglycan (PG) from stressed cells showed that modification was at the structural level in accordance with a decreased PG cross-link involving penicillin-binding proteins (PBP). Nine PBP were first described in this species and these proteins were expressed in low percentages or presented a modified pattern of saturation with penicillin G (Pen G) during growth in high salt. Three of the essential PBP were fully saturated in N condition at lower Pen G concentrations than in C condition, suggesting differences in functionality in vivo.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results show that growth in high salt modified the structural properties of the cell wall.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF STUDY:

Advances in understanding the adaptation to high osmolarity, in particular those involving sensitivity to lysis of lactic acid bacteria.

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