Identification of a Novel Regulator of Clostridioides difficile Cortex Formation.

MSphere
Megan H TouchetteAimee Shen

Abstract

Clostridioides difficile is a leading cause of health care-associated infections worldwide. These infections are transmitted by C. difficile's metabolically dormant, aerotolerant spore form. Functional spore formation depends on the assembly of two protective layers, a thick layer of modified peptidoglycan known as the cortex layer and a multilayered proteinaceous meshwork known as the coat. We previously identified two spore morphogenetic proteins, SpoIVA and SipL, that are essential for recruiting coat proteins to the developing forespore and making functional spores. While SpoIVA and SipL directly interact, the identities of the proteins they recruit to the forespore remained unknown. Here, we used mass spectrometry-based affinity proteomics to identify proteins that interact with the SpoIVA-SipL complex. These analyses identified the Peptostreptococcaceae family-specific, sporulation-induced bitopic membrane protein CD3457 (renamed SpoVQ) as a protein that interacts with SipL and SpoIVA. Loss of SpoVQ decreased heat-resistant spore formation by ∼5-fold and reduced cortex thickness ∼2-fold; the thinner cortex layer of ΔspoVQ spores correlated with higher levels of spontaneous germination (i.e., in the absence of germinant). ...Continue Reading

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