PloS one

Streptococcus pneumoniae GAPDH Is Released by Cell Lysis and Interacts with Peptidoglycan.

PMID 25927608


Release of conserved cytoplasmic proteins is widely spread among Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. Because these proteins display additional functions when located at the bacterial surface, they have been qualified as moonlighting proteins. The GAPDH is a glycolytic enzyme which plays an important role in the virulence processes of pathogenic microorganisms like bacterial invasion and host immune system modulation. However, GAPDH, like other moonlighting proteins, cannot be secreted through active secretion systems since they do not contain an N-terminal predicted signal peptide. In this work, we investigated the mechanism of GAPDH export and surface retention in Streptococcus pneumoniae, a major human pathogen. We addressed the role of the major autolysin LytA in the delivery process of GAPDH to the cell surface. Pneumococcal lysis is abolished in the ΔlytA mutant strain or when 1% choline chloride is added in the culture media. We showed that these conditions induce a marked reduction in the amount of surface-associated GAPDH. These data suggest that the presence of GAPDH at the surface of pneumococcal cells depends on the LytA-mediated lysis of a fraction of the cell population. Moreover, we demonstrated that pneumococcal GAPDH binds to the bacterial cell wall independently of the presence of the teichoic acids component, supporting peptidoglycan as a ligand to surface GAPDH. Finally, we showed that peptidoglycan-associated GAPDH recruits C1q from human serum but does not activate the complement pathway.