Positioning cell wall synthetic complexes by the bacterial morphogenetic proteins MreB and MreD


E-mail gober@chem.ucla.edu; Tel. (+1) 310 206 9449; Fax +1 310 206 5213.


In Caulobacter crescentus, intact cables of the actin homologue, MreB, are required for the proper spatial positioning of MurG which catalyses the final step in peptidoglycan precursor synthesis. Similarly, in the periplasm, MreC controls the spatial orientation of the penicillin binding proteins and a lytic transglycosylase. We have now found that MreB cables are required for the organization of several other cytosolic murein biosynthetic enzymes such as MraY, MurB, MurC, MurE and MurF. We also show these proteins adopt a subcellular pattern of localization comparable to MurG, suggesting the existence of cytoskeletal-dependent interactions. Through extensive two-hybrid analyses, we have now generated a comprehensive interaction map of components of the bacterial morphogenetic complex. In the cytosol, this complex contains both murein biosynthetic enzymes and morphogenetic proteins, including RodA, RodZ and MreD. We show that the integral membrane protein, MreD, is essential for lateral peptidoglycan synthesis, interacts with the precursor synthesizing enzymes MurG and MraY, and additionally, determines MreB localization. Our results suggest that the interdependent localization of MreB and MreD functions to spatially organize a complex of peptidoglycan precursor synthesis proteins, which is required for propagation of a uniform cell shape and catalytically efficient peptidoglycan synthesis.