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LytR-CpsA-Psr Enzymes as Determinants of Bacillus anthracis Secondary Cell Wall Polysaccharide Assembly

Liszewski Zilla, Megan, Chan, Yvonne G. Y., Lunderberg, Justin Mark, Schneewind, Olaf, Missiakas, Dominique
Journal of bacteriology 2015 v.197 no.2 pp. 343-353
Bacillus anthracis, anthrax, bacteria, bacteriology, cell walls, enzymes, genome, models, mutants, peptidoglycans, polymers, proteins, vegetative cells
Bacillus anthracis , the causative agent of anthrax, replicates as chains of vegetative cells by regulating the separation of septal peptidoglycan. Surface (S)-layer proteins and associated proteins (BSLs) function as chain length determinants and bind to the secondary cell wall polysaccharide (SCWP). In this study, we identified the B. anthracis lcpD mutant, which displays increased chain length and S-layer assembly defects due to diminished SCWP attachment to peptidoglycan. In contrast, the B. anthracis lcpB3 variant displayed reduced cell size and chain length, which could be attributed to increased deposition of BSLs. In other bacteria, LytR-CpsA-Psr (LCP) proteins attach wall teichoic acid (WTA) and polysaccharide capsule to peptidoglycan. B. anthracis does not synthesize these polymers, yet its genome encodes six LCP homologues, which, when expressed in S. aureus , promote WTA attachment. We propose a model whereby B. anthracis LCPs promote attachment of SCWP precursors to discrete locations in the peptidoglycan, enabling BSL assembly and regulated separation of septal peptidoglycan.