Lien vers Pubmed [PMID] – 37609260
Lien DOI – 10.1101/2023.08.06.552200
bioRxiv 2023 Aug; ():
Current models of bacterial cell division assume that the core synthases of the multiprotein divisome complex, FtsW-FtsI, are the primary drivers of septal peptidoglycan (PG) synthesis. These enzymes are typically encoded in the highly conserved division and cell wall (dcw) cluster and are considered to be universally essential for cell division. Here, we combine bioinformatics analyses with functional characterization in the pathogen Clostridioides difficile to show that dcw-encoded PG synthases have undergone a surprising specialization in the sole endospore-forming phylum, Firmicutes, to fulfill sporulation-specific roles. We describe a novel role for these enzymes in synthesizing septal PG during the sporulation-specific mode of cell division in C. difficile. Although these enzymes are directly regulated by canonical divisome components during this process, dcw-encoded PG synthases and their divisome regulators are unexpectedly dispensable for cell division during normal growth. Instead, C. difficile uses its sole bifunctional class A penicillin-binding protein (aPBP) to drive cell division, revealing a previously unreported role for this class of PG synthases as the core divisome enzyme. Collectively, our findings reveal how the emergence of endosporulation in the Firmicutes phylum was a key driver for the functional repurposing of an otherwise universally conserved cellular process such as cell division. Moreover, they indicate that C. difficile, and likely other clostridia, assemble a divisome that differs markedly from previously studied bacteria, thus representing an attractive, unique target for therapeutic purposes.