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J Bacteriol. 2012 Aug;194(15):3938-49. doi: 10.1128/JB.00127-12. Epub 2012 May 18.

Functional analyses of mycobacterial lipoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase and comparative secretome analysis of a mycobacterial lgt mutant.

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Institute of Medical Microbiology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland.


Preprolipopoprotein diacylglyceryl transferase (Lgt) is the gating enzyme of lipoprotein biosynthesis, and it attaches a lipid structure to the N-terminal part of preprolipoproteins. Using Lgt from Escherichia coli in a BLASTp search, we identified the corresponding Lgt homologue in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and two homologous (MSMEG_3222 and MSMEG_5408) Lgt in Mycobacterium smegmatis. M. tuberculosis lgt was shown to be essential, but an M. smegmatis ΔMSMEG_3222 mutant could be generated. Using Triton X-114 phase separation and [(14)C]palmitic acid incorporation, we demonstrate that MSMEG_3222 is the major Lgt in M. smegmatis. Recombinant M. tuberculosis lipoproteins Mpt83 and LppX are shown to be localized in the cell envelope of parental M. smegmatis but were absent from the cell membrane and cell wall in the M. smegmatis ΔMSMEG_3222 strain. In a proteomic study, 106 proteins were identified and quantified in the secretome of wild-type M. smegmatis, including 20 lipoproteins. All lipoproteins were secreted at higher levels in the ΔMSMEG_3222 mutant. We identify the major Lgt in M. smegmatis, show that lipoproteins lacking the lipid anchor are secreted into the culture filtrate, and demonstrate that M. tuberculosis lgt is essential and thus a validated drug target.

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