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Journal of bacteriology

Bacteriocin protein BacL1 of Enterococcus faecalis targets cell division loci and specifically recognizes L-Ala2-cross-bridged peptidoglycan.


PMID 25368300

Abstract

Bacteriocin 41 (Bac41) is produced from clinical isolates of Enterococcus faecalis and consists of two extracellular proteins, BacL1 and BacA. We previously reported that BacL1 protein (595 amino acids, 64.5 kDa) is a bacteriolytic peptidoglycan D-isoglutamyl-L-lysine endopeptidase that induces cell lysis of E. faecalis when an accessory factor, BacA, is copresent. However, the target of BacL1 remains unknown. In this study, we investigated the targeting specificity of BacL1. Fluorescence microscopy analysis using fluorescent dye-conjugated recombinant protein demonstrated that BacL1 specifically localized at the cell division-associated site, including the equatorial ring, division septum, and nascent cell wall, on the cell surface of target E. faecalis cells. This specific targeting was dependent on the triple repeat of the SH3 domain located in the region from amino acid 329 to 590 of BacL1. Repression of cell growth due to the stationary state of the growth phase or to treatment with bacteriostatic antibiotics rescued bacteria from the bacteriolytic activity of BacL1 and BacA. The static growth state also abolished the binding and targeting of BacL1 to the cell division-associated site. Furthermore, the targeting of BacL1 was detectable among Gram-positive bacteria with an L-Ala-L-Ala-cross-bridging peptidoglycan, including E. faecalis, Streptococcus pyogenes, or Streptococcus pneumoniae, but not among bacteria with alternate peptidoglycan structures, such as Enterococcus faecium, Enterococcus hirae, Staphylococcus aureus, or Listeria monocytogenes. These data suggest that BacL1 specifically targets the L-Ala-L-Ala-cross-bridged peptidoglycan and potentially lyses the E. faecalis cells during cell division.