Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20190047
J. Bacteriol. 2010 May;192(9):2373-84
This work reports the characterization of the first known peptidoglycan hydrolase (Acp) produced mainly during vegetative growth of Clostridium perfringens. Acp has a modular structure with three domains: a signal peptide domain, an N-terminal domain with repeated sequences, and a C-terminal catalytic domain. The purified recombinant catalytic domain of Acp displayed lytic activity on the cell walls of several Gram-positive bacterial species. Its hydrolytic specificity was established by analyzing the Bacillus subtilis peptidoglycan digestion products by coupling reverse phase-high-pressure liquid chromatography (RP-HPLC) and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization-time of flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) analysis, which displayed an N-acetylglucosaminidase activity. The study of acp expression showed a constant expression during growth, which suggested an important role of Acp in growth of C. perfringens. Furthermore, cell fractionation and indirect immunofluorescence staining using anti-Acp antibodies revealed that Acp is located at the septal peptidoglycan of vegetative cells during exponential growth phase, indicating a role in cell separation or division of C. perfringens. A knockout acp mutant strain was obtained by using the insertion of mobile group II intron strategy (ClosTron). The microscopic examination indicated a lack of vegetative cell separation in the acp mutant strain, as well as the wild-type strain incubated with anti-Acp antibodies, demonstrating the critical role of Acp in cell separation. The comparative responses of wild-type and acp mutant strains to stresses induced by Triton X-100, bile salts, and vancomycin revealed an implication of Acp in autolysis induced by these stresses. Overall, Acp appears as a major cell wall N-acetylglucosaminidase implicated in both vegetative growth and stress-induced autolysis.