- Cyclic-di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) is an important nucleotide signaling molecule that plays a key role in osmotic regulation in bacteria. c-di-AMP is produced from two molecules of ATP by proteins containing a diadenylate cyclase (DAC) domain. In Bacillus subtilis, the main c-di-AMP cyclase, CdaA, is a membrane-linked cyclase with an N-terminal transmembrane domain followed by the cytoplasmic DAC domain. As both high and low levels of c-di-AMP have a negative impact on bacterial growth, the cellular levels of this signaling nucleotide are tightly regulated.
- UTP-glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferases are enzymes that produce UDP-glucose from UTP and glucose-1-phosphate. In Bacillus subtilis 168, UDP-glucose is required for the decoration of wall teichoic acid (WTA) with glucose residues and the formation of glucolipids. The B. subtilis UGPase GtaB is essential for UDP-glucose production under standard aerobic growth conditions, and gtaB mutants display severe growth and morphological defects. However, bioinformatics predictions indicate that two other UTP-glucose-1-phosphate uridylyltransferases are present in B. subtilis.
- The 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.
- Cyclic di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) is a recently discovered signaling molecule important for the survival of Firmicutes, a large bacterial group that includes notable pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus. However, the exact role of this molecule has not been identified. dacA, the S. aureus gene encoding the diadenylate cyclase enzyme required for c-di-AMP production, cannot be deleted when bacterial cells are grown in rich medium, indicating that c-di-AMP is required for growth in this condition.
- The bacterial cell wall is an important and highly complex structure that is essential for bacterial growth because it protects bacteria from cell lysis and environmental insults. A typical Gram-positive bacterial cell wall is composed of peptidoglycan and the secondary cell wall polymers, wall teichoic acid (WTA) and lipoteichoic acid (LTA). In many Gram-positive bacteria, LTA is a polyglycerol-phosphate chain that is decorated with d-alanine and sugar residues. However, the function of and proteins responsible for the glycosylation of LTA are either unknown or not well-characterized.
- The nucleotide signaling molecule 3′,5′-cyclic adenosine monophosphate (3′,5′-cAMP) plays important physiological roles, ranging from carbon catabolite repression in bacteria to mediating the action of hormones in higher eukaryotes, including human. However, it remains unclear whether 3′,5′-cAMP is universally present in the Firmicutes group of bacteria. We hypothesized that searching for proteins that bind 3′,5′-cAMP might provide new insight into this question. Accordingly, we performed a genome-wide screen and identified the essential Staphylococcus aureus tRNA m1G37 methyltransferase enzyme TrmD, which is conserved in all three domains of life as a tight 3′,5′-cAMP-binding protein.
- Nucleotide signaling networks are key to facilitate alterations in gene expression, protein function, and enzyme activity in response to diverse stimuli. Cyclic di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) is an important secondary messenger molecule produced by the human pathogen Staphylococcus aureus and is involved in regulating a number of physiological processes including potassium transport. S. aureus must ensure tight control over its cellular levels as both high levels of the dinucleotide and its absence result in a number of detrimental phenotypes.
- Nucleotide-signaling pathways are found in all kingdoms of life and are utilized to coordinate a rapid response to external stimuli. The stringent response alarmones guanosine tetra- (ppGpp) and pentaphosphate (pppGpp) control a global response allowing cells to adapt to starvation conditions such as amino acid depletion. One more recently discovered signaling nucleotide is the secondary messenger cyclic diadenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP). Here, we demonstrate that this signaling nucleotide is essential for the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, and its increased production during late growth phases indicates that c-di-AMP controls processes that are important for the survival of cells in stationary phase.