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Metabolite profiling and peptidoglycan analysis of transient cell wall-deficient bacteria in a new Escherichia coli model system

AuthorsCambré, Alexander; Ayala, Juan Alfonso ; Briers, Yves
Issue Date2015
PublisherBlackwell Publishing
CitationEnvironmental Microbiology 17: 1586- 1599 (2015)
Abstract© 2014 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Many bacteria are able to assume a transient cell wall-deficient (or L-form) state under favourable osmotic conditions. Cell wall stress such as exposure to β-lactam antibiotics can enforce the transition to and maintenance of this state. L-forms actively proliferate and can return to the walled state upon removal of the inducing agent. We have adopted Escherichia coli as a model system for the controlled transition to and reversion from the L-form state, and have studied these dynamics with genetics, cell biology and 'omics' technologies. As such, a transposon mutagenesis screen underscored the requirement for the Rcs phosphorelay and colanic acid synthesis, while proteomics show only little differences between rods and L-forms. In contrast, metabolome comparison reveals the high abundance of lysophospholipids and phospholipids with unsaturated or cyclopropanized fatty acids in E.coliL-forms. This increase of membrane lipids associated with increased membrane fluidity may facilitate proliferation through bud formation. Visualization of the residual peptidoglycan with a fluorescently labelled peptidoglycan binding protein indicates de novo cell wall synthesis and a role for septal peptidoglycan synthesis during bud constriction. The DD-carboxypeptidases PBP5 and PBP6 are threefold and fourfold upregulated in L-forms, indicating a specific role for regulation of crosslinking during L-form proliferation.
Identifiersdoi: 10.1111/1462-2920.12594
issn: 1462-2920
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