1887

Abstract

strains produce either glycerol (Gro)- or ribitol (Rbo)-backbone wall teichoic acid (WTA) (Gro-WTA and Rbo-WTA, respectively). The strain WCFS1 has been shown to be able to activate the locus involved in Rbo-WTA synthesis when the locus for Gro-WTA synthesis was mutated, resulting in switching of the native Gro-WTA into Rbo-WTA. Here, we identify a regulator involved in the WTA backbone alditol switching and activation of the locus. Promoter reporter assays of the promoter (P) demonstrated its activity in the Rbo-WTA-producing mutant derivative (Δ) but not in the parental strain WCFS1. An electrophoresis mobility shift assay using a P nucleotide fragment showed that this fragment bound to P-binding protein(s) in a cell-free extract of WCFS1. Three proteins were subsequently isolated using P bound to magnetic beads. These proteins were isolated efficiently from the lysate of WCFS1 but not from the lysate of its Δ derivative, and were identified as redox-sensitive transcription regulator (Lp_0725), catabolite control protein A (Lp_2256) and TetR family transcriptional regulator (Lp_1153). The role of these proteins in P regulation was investigated by knockout mutagenesis, showing that the Δ mutant expressed the gene at a significantly higher level, supporting its role as a repressor of the locus. Notably, the Δ mutation also led to reduced expression of the gene. These results show that Lp_1153 is a regulatory factor that plays a role in WTA alditol switching in WCFS1 and we propose to rename this gene/protein /WasR, for WTA alditol switch regulator.

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2016-02-01
2020-03-31
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