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Herlihey, Francesca A; Osorio-Valeriano, Manuel; Dreyfus, Georges; Clarke, Anthony J (2016)

MODULATION OF THE LYTIC ACTIVITY OF THE DEDICATED AUTOLYSIN FOR FLAGELLUM FORMATION SLTF BY FLAGELLAR ROD PROTEINS FLGB AND FLGF

J. Bacteriol. 198(13):1847-1856
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SltF was identified previously as an autolysin required for the assembly of flagella in the alphaproteobacteria, but the nature of its peptidoglycan lytic activity remained unknown. Sequence alignment analyses suggest that it could function as either a muramidase, lytic transglycosylase, or β-N-acetylglucosaminidase. Recombinant SltF from Rhodobacter sphaeroides was purified to apparent homogeneity, and it was demonstrated to function as a lytic transglycosylase based on enzymatic assays involving mass spectrometric analyses. Circular dichroism (CD) analysis determined that it is composed of 83.4% α-structure and 1.48% β-structure and thus is similar to family 1A lytic transglycosylases. However, alignment of apparent SltF homologs identified in the genome database defined a new subfamily of the family 1 lytic transglycosylases. SltF was demonstrated to be endo-acting, cleaving within chains of peptidoglycan, with optimal activity at pH 7.0. Its activity is modulated by two flagellar rod proteins, FlgB and FlgF: FlgB both stabilizes and stimulates SltF activity, while FlgF inhibits it. Invariant Glu57 was confirmed as the sole catalytic acid/base residue of SltF.