Phosphoglycerol-type wall and lipoteichoic acids are enantiomeric polymers differentiated by the stereospecific glycerophosphodiesterase GlpQThe cell envelope of Gram-positive bacteria generally comprises two types of polyanionic polymers linked to either peptidoglycan (wall teichoic acids; WTA) or to membrane glycolipids (lipoteichoic acids; LTA). In some bacteria, including Bacillus subtilis strain 168, both WTA and LTA are glycerolphosphate polymers yet are synthesized through different pathways and have distinct but incompletely understood morphogenetic functions during cell elongation and division. We show here that the exolytic sn-glycerol-3-phosphodiesterase GlpQ can discriminate between B.
Staphylococcus aureus counters phosphate limitation by scavenging wall teichoic acids from other staphylococci via the teichoicase GlpQStaphylococcus aureus is part of the human nasal and skin microbiomes along with other bacterial commensals and opportunistic pathogens. Nutrients are scarce in these habitats, demanding effective nutrient acquisition and competition strategies. How S. aureus copes with phosphate limitation is still unknown. Wall teichoic acid (WTA), a polyol-phosphate polymer, could serve as a phosphate source, but whether S. aureus can utilize it during phosphate starvation remains unknown. S. aureus secretes a glycerophosphodiesterase, GlpQ, that cleaves a broad variety of glycerol-3-phosphate (GroP) headgroups of deacylated phospholipids, providing this bacterium with GroP as a carbon and phosphate source.