1887

Abstract

WalRK is an essential two-component signal transduction system that plays a central role in coordinating cell wall synthesis and cell growth in . However, the physiological role of WalRK and its essentiality for growth have not been elucidated. We investigated the behaviour of WalRK during heat stress and its essentiality for cell proliferation. We determined that the inactivation of the genes which encode the negative modulator of WalK, resulted in growth defects and eventual cell lysis at high temperatures. Screening of suppressor mutations revealed that the inactivation of LytE, an -endopeptidase, restored the growth of the Δ mutant at high temperatures. Suppressor mutations that reduced heat induction arising from the regulon were also mapped to the ORF. Therefore, we hypothesized that overactivation of LytE affects the phenotype of the Δ mutant. This hypothesis was corroborated by the overexpression of the negative regulator of LytE, IseA and PdaC, which rescued the growth of the Δ mutant at high temperatures. Elucidating the cause of the temperature sensitivity of the Δ mutant could explain the essentiality of WalRK. We proved that the constitutive expression of or using a synthetic promoter uncouples these expressions from WalRK, and renders WalRK nonessential in the and mutant backgrounds. We propose that the essentiality of WalRK is derived from the coordination of cell wall metabolism with cell growth by regulating -endopeptidase activity under various growth conditions.

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2018-04-01
2020-01-21
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