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Garcia-Ramos, Mariela; de la Mora, Javier; Ballado, Teresa; Camarena, Laura; Dreyfus, Georges (2018)


J. Bacteriol. 200(20):
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In this work, we have characterized the soluble lytic transglycosylase (SltF) from that interacts with the scaffolding protein FlgJ in the periplasm to open space at the cell wall peptidoglycan heteropolymer for the emerging rod. The characterization of the genetic context of and s in alphaproteobacteria shows that these two separate genes coexist frequently in a flagellar gene cluster. Two domains of unknown function in SltF were studied, and the results show that the deletion of a 17-amino-acid segment near the N terminus does not show a recognizable phenotype, whereas the deletion of 47 and 95 amino acids of the C terminus of SltF disrupts the interaction with FlgJ without affecting the transglycosylase catalytic activity of SltF. These mutant proteins are unable to support swimming, indicating that the physical interaction between SltF and FlgJ is central for flagellar formation. In a maximum likelihood tree of representative lytic transglycosylases, all of the flagellar SltF proteins cluster in subfamily 1F. From this analysis, it was also revealed that the lytic transglycosylases related to the type III secretion systems present in pathogens cluster with the closely related flagellar transglycosylases. Flagellar biogenesis is a highly orchestrated event where the flagellar structure spans the bacterial cell envelope. The rod diameter of approximately 4 nm is larger than the estimated pore size of the peptidoglycan layer; hence, its insertion requires the localized and controlled lysis of the cell wall. We found that a 47-residue domain of the C terminus of the lytic transglycosylase (LT) SltF of is involved in the recognition of the rod chaperone FlgJ. We also found that in many alphaproteobacteria, the flagellar cluster includes a homolog of SltF and FlgJ, indicating that association of an LT with the flagellar machinery is ancestral. A maximum likelihood tree shows that family 1 of LTs segregates into seven subfamilies.