Compound-gene interaction mapping reveals distinct roles for Staphylococcus aureus teichoic acids
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Santa Maria, J. P.
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CitationSanta Maria, J. P., A. Sadaka, S. H. Moussa, S. Brown, Y. J. Zhang, E. J. Rubin, M. S. Gilmore, and S. Walker. 2014. “Compound-Gene Interaction Mapping Reveals Distinct Roles for Staphylococcus Aureus Teichoic Acids.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (34) (August 7): 12510–12515. doi:10.1073/pnas.1404099111.
AbstractStaphylococcus aureus contains two distinct teichoic acid (TA) polymers, lipoteichoic acid (LTA) and wall teichoic acid (WTA), which are proposed to play redundant roles in regulating cell division. To gain insight into the underlying biology of S. aureus TAs, we used a small molecule inhibitor to screen a highly saturated transposon library for cellular factors that become essential when WTA is depleted. We constructed an interaction network connecting WTAs with genes involved in LTA synthesis, peptidoglycan synthesis, surface protein display, and D-alanine cell envelope modifications. Although LTAs and WTAs are synthetically lethal, we report that they do not have the same synthetic interactions with other cell envelope genes. For example, D-alanylation, a tailoring modification of both WTAs and LTAs, becomes essential when the former, but not the latter, are removed. Therefore, D-alanine–tailored LTAs are required for survival when WTAs are absent. Examination of terminal phenotoypes led to the unexpected discovery that cells lacking both LTAs and WTAs lose their ability to form Z rings and can no longer divide. We have concluded that the presence of either LTAs or WTAs on the cell surface is required for initiation of S. aureus cell division, but these polymers act as part of distinct cellular networks.
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