Jan 9, 2007

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

Journal of Bacteriology
Angelika Gründling, Olaf Schneewind

Abstract

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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Citations

Mentioned in this Paper

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

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