Bacillus subtilis cell diameter is determined by the opposing actions of two distinct cell wall synthetic systems
van Teeffelen, Sven
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CitationDion, M.F., Kapoor, M., Sun, Y. et al. Bacillus subtilis cell diameter is determined by the opposing actions of two distinct cell wall synthetic systems. Nat Microbiol 4, 1294–1305 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41564-019-0439-0
AbstractRod shaped bacteria grow by adding material into their cell wall via the action of two spatially distinct enzymatic systems: The Rod system moves around the cell circumference, while the class A penicillin-binding proteins (aPBPs) are unorganized. To understand how the combined action of these two systems defines bacterial dimensions, we examined how each system affects the growth and width of Bacillus subtilis, as well as the mechanical anisotropy and orientation of material within their sacculi. We find that rod diameter is not determined by MreB, rather it depends on the balance between the systems: The Rod system reduces diameter, while aPBPs increase it. RodA/PBP2A can both thin or widen cells, depending on its levels relative to MreBCD. Increased Rod system activity correlates with an increased density of directional MreB filaments, and a greater fraction of directionally moving PBP2A molecules. This increased circumferential synthesis increases the amount of oriented material within the sacculi, increasing their mechanical anisotropy and reinforcing rod shape. Together, these experiments explain how the combined action of the two main cell wall synthetic systems build rods of different widths, a model that appears generalizable: Escherichia coli containing Rod system mutants show the same relationship between the density of directionally moving MreB filaments and cell width.
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37366567
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