Recruitment of penicillin-binding protein PBP2 to the division site of Staphylococcus aureus is dependent on its transpeptidation substrates

Authors

  • Mariana G. Pinho,

    Corresponding author
    1. Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.
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    • Present address: Instituto de Tecnologia Química e Biológica, Av. da Republica (EAN), Apartado 127, 2781-901 Oeiras, Portugal.

  • Jeff Errington

    1. Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.
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E-mail mariana.pinho@path.ox.ac.uk; Tel. (+44) 1865 275 564; Fax (+44) 1865 275 556.

Summary

Staphylococcus aureus penicillin-binding protein PBP2 is an enzyme involved in the last stages of peptidoglycan assembly and is an important player in the mechanism of methicillin resistance of this pathogen. PBP2 localized to the division site but its recruitment to the forming division septum was prevented after acylation by oxacillin. The presence of the antibiotic did not affect FtsZ ring maintenance nor the localization of externalized peptidoglycan precursors. Delocalization of PBP2 was also observed when its pentapeptide substrate was eliminated by addition of d-cycloserine or blocked by addition of vancomycin. Taken together these observations suggest that PBP2 is recruited to the division site by binding to its substrate, which is localized at that place. In methicillin-resistant S. aureus, addition of oxacillin does not result in delocalization of PBP2 indicating that acylated PBP2 can be maintained in place by functional PBP2A, the central element of this resistance mechanism.

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