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Mol Microbiol. 2008 Oct;70(2):297-310. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2958.2008.06397.x. Epub 2008 Aug 22.

The major and minor wall teichoic acids prevent the sidewall localization of vegetative DL-endopeptidase LytF in Bacillus subtilis.

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Experimental Farm, Shinshu University, 3-15-1 Tokida, Ueda-shi, Nagano 386-8567, Japan.


Cell separation in Bacillus subtilis depends on specific activities of DL-endopeptidases CwlS, LytF and LytE. Immunofluorescence microscopy (IFM) indicated that the localization of LytF depended on its N-terminal LysM domain. In addition, we revealed that the LysM domain efficiently binds to peptidoglycan (PG) prepared by chemically removing wall teichoic acids (WTAs) from the B. subtilis cell wall. Moreover, increasing amounts of the LysM domain bound to TagB- or TagO-depleted cell walls. These results strongly suggested that the LysM domain specifically binds to PG, and that the binding may be prevented by WTAs. IFM with TagB-, TagF- or TagO-reduced cells indicated that LytF-6xFLAG was observed not only at cell separation site and poles but also as a helical pattern along the sidewall. Moreover, we found that LytF was localizable on the whole cell surface in TagB-, TagF- or TagO-depleted cells. These results strongly suggest that WTAs inhibit the sidewall localization of LytF. Furthermore, the helical LytF localization was observed on the lateral cell surface in MreB-depleted cells, suggesting that cell wall modification by WTAs along the sidewall might be governed by an actin-like cytoskeleton homologue, MreB.

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