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Mol Microbiol. 2007 Jun;64(5):1244-59.

Loss of the controlled localization of growth stage-specific cell-wall synthesis pleiotropically affects developmental gene expression in an ssgA mutant of Streptomyces coelicolor.

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Department of Biochemistry, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, PO Box 9502, 2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands.


Members of the family of SsgA-like proteins (SALPs) are found exclusively in sporulating actinomycetes, and SsgA itself activates sporulation-specific cell division. We previously showed that SALPs play a chaperonin-like role in supporting the function of enzymes involved in peptidoglycan maintenance (PBPs and autolysins). Here we show that SsgA localizes dynamically during development, and most likely marks the sites where changes in local cell-wall morphogenesis are required, in particular septum formation and germination. In sporogenic aerial hyphae, SsgA initially localizes as strong foci to the growing tips, followed by distribution as closely spaced foci in a pattern similar to an early stage of FtsZ assembly. Spore septa formed in these hyphae colocalize with single SsgA-GFP foci, and when the maturing spores are separated, these foci are distributed symmetrically, resulting in two foci per mature spore. Evidence is provided that SsgA also controls the correct localization of germination sites. Transcriptome analysis revealed that expression of around 300 genes was significantly altered in mutants in ssgA and its regulatory gene ssgR. The list includes surprisingly many known developmental genes, most of which were upregulated, highlighting SsgA as a key player in the control of Streptomyces development.

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