Jan 9, 2007

Genes required for glycolipid synthesis and lipoteichoic acid anchoring in Staphylococcus aureus

Journal of Bacteriology
Angelika Gründling, Olaf Schneewind


Staphylococcus aureus lipoteichoic acid (LTA) is composed of a linear 1,3-linked polyglycerolphosphate chain and is tethered to the bacterial membrane by a glycolipid (diglucosyl-diacylglycerol [Glc2-DAG]). Glc2-DAG is synthesized in the bacterial cytoplasm by YpfP, a processive enzyme that transfers glucose to diacylglycerol (DAG), using UDP-glucose as its substrate. Here we present evidence that the S. aureus alpha-phosphoglucomutase (PgcA) and UTP:alpha-glucose 1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GtaB) homologs are required for the synthesis of Glc2-DAG. LtaA (lipoteichoic acid protein A), a predicted membrane permease whose structural gene is located in an operon with ypfP, is not involved in Glc2-DAG synthesis but is required for synthesis of glycolipid-anchored LTA. Our data suggest a model in which LtaA facilitates the transport of Glc2-DAG from the inner (cytoplasmic) leaflet to the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, delivering Glc2-DAG as a substrate for LTA synthesis, thereby generating glycolipid-anchored LTA. Glycolipid anchoring of LTA appears to play an important role during infection, as S. aureus variants lacking ltaA display defects in the pathogenesis of animal infections.

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Mentioned in this Paper

Pathogenic Aspects
Gene Expression Regulation, Bacterial
Bacterial Proteins
Mice, Inbred BALB C
L-allo-threonine Aldolase Activity
Thylacodes aureus
Phosphate Measurement

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