Control of cell division in Streptococcus pneumoniae by the conserved Ser/Thr protein kinase StkP


How the human pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae coordinates cell-wall synthesis during growth and division to achieve its characteristic oval shape is poorly understood. The conserved eukaryotic-type Ser/Thr kinase of S. pneumoniae, StkP, previously was reported to phosphorylate the cell-division protein DivIVA. Consistent with a role in cell division, GFP-StkP and its cognate phosphatase, GFP-PhpP, both localize to the division site. StkP localization depends on its penicillin-binding protein and Ser/Thr-associated domains that likely sense uncross-linked peptidoglycan, because StkP and PhpP delocalize in the presence of antibiotics that target the latest stages of cell-wall biosynthesis and in cells that have stopped dividing. Time-lapse microscopy shows that StkP displays an intermediate timing of recruitment to midcell: StkP arrives shortly after FtsA but before DivIVA. Furthermore, StkP remains at midcell longer than FtsA, until division is complete. Cells mutated for stkP are perturbed in cell-wall synthesis and display elongated morphologies with multiple, often unconstricted, FtsA and DivIVA rings. The data show that StkP plays an important role in regulating cell-wall synthesis and controls correct septum progression and closure. Overall, our results indicate that StkP signals information about the cell-wall status to key cell-division proteins and in this way acts as a regulator of cell division.


PubMed ID: 22431591

Projects: Noisy-Strep

Publication type: Not specified

Journal: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America


Date Published: 21st Mar 2012

Registered Mode: Not specified

Authors: Katrin Beilharz, Linda Nováková, Daniela Fadda, Pavel Branny, Orietta Massidda,

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Views: 3748

Created: 27th Mar 2012 at 15:43

Last updated: 27th Mar 2012 at 15:43

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