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Microbiology. 2005 Mar;151(Pt 3):999-1012.

Dynamic localization of penicillin-binding proteins during spore development in Bacillus subtilis.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.


During Bacillus subtilis spore formation, many membrane proteins that function in spore development localize to the prespore septum and, subsequently, to the outer prespore membrane. Recently, it was shown that the cell-division-specific penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) 1 and 2b localize to the asymmetric prespore septum. Here, the author studied the localization of other PBPs, fused to green fluorescent protein (GFP), during spore formation. Fusions to PBPs 4, 2c, 2d, 2a, 3, H, 4b, 5, 4a, 4* and X were expressed during vegetative growth, and their localization was monitored during sporulation. Of these PBPs, 2c, 2d, 4b and 4* have been implicated as having a function in sporulation. It was found that PBP2c, 2d and X changed their localization, while the other PBPs tested were not affected. The putative endopeptidase PbpX appears to spiral out in a pattern that resembles FtsZ redistribution during sporulation, but a pbpX knockout strain had no distinguishable phenotype. PBP2c and 2d localize to the prespore septum and follow the membrane during engulfment, and so are redistributed to the prespore membrane. A similar pattern was observed when GFP-PBP2c was expressed in the mother cell from a sporulation-specific promoter. This work shows that various PBPs known to function during sporulation are redistributed from the cytoplasmic membrane to the prespore.

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