Molecular insights into the bacterial cell wall elongation process

The peptidoglycan (PG) is an essential component of the bacterial cell wall, and plays a key role in shape maintenance and cell division. Due to the importance of PG for bacterial survival, its biosynthetic machinery has been a preferential target for antibiotic development for decades. However, little is known regarding how cell wall elongation is regulated. In this work we show that the scaffolding protein MreC from the human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa plays a key role in regulation of cell wall elongation through its ability to self-associate and bind to different protein partners, including Penicillin-Binding Proteins (PBPs), the targets of beta-lactam antibiotics. These results were obtained in partnership with the Laboratório Nacional de Biociências in Campinas and using data collected at the Brazilian synchrotron LNLS and at the Glacios cryo-electron microscope at the IBS, pave the way for a detailed understanding of how bacteria form their cell wall as well as for the development of new antibacterial agents.

Self-association of MreC as a regulatory signal in bacterial cell wall elongation. Alexandre Martins, Carlos Contreras-Martel*, Manon Janet-Maitre, Mayara M. Miyachiro, Leandro F. Estrozi, Daniel Maragno Trindade, Caique C. Malospirito, Fernanda Rodrigues-Costa, Lionel Imbert, Viviana Job, Guy Schoehn, Ina Attrée, Andrea Dessen. Nature Communication ;2987

Contact : Andrea Dessen (IBS/Bacterial Pathogenesis Group)