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PLoS One. 2015 Oct 15;10(10):e0140523. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140523. eCollection 2015.

MreC and MreD Proteins Are Not Required for Growth of Staphylococcus aureus.

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Laboratory of Bacterial Cell Biology, Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica António Xavier, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, Oeiras, Portugal.
INRA, UMR 1319 Micalis, F-78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France; AgroParisTech, UMR Micalis, F-78350, Jouy-en-Josas, France.


The transmembrane proteins MreC and MreD are present in a wide variety of bacteria and are thought to be involved in cell shape determination. Together with the actin homologue MreB and other morphological elements, they play an essential role in the synthesis of the lateral cell wall in rod-shaped bacteria. In ovococcus, which lack MreB homologues, mreCD are also essential and have been implicated in peripheral cell wall synthesis. In this work we addressed the possible roles of MreC and MreD in the spherical pathogen Staphylococcus aureus. We show that MreC and MreD are not essential for cell viability and do not seem to affect cell morphology, cell volume or cell cycle control. MreC and MreD localize preferentially to the division septa, but do not appear to influence peptidoglycan composition, nor the susceptibility to different antibiotics and to oxidative and osmotic stress agents. Our results suggest that the function of MreCD in S. aureus is not critical for cell division and cell shape determination.

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