Cytosolic factors controlling PASTA kinase-dependent ReoM phosphorylation

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Cytosolic factors controlling PASTA kinase-dependent ReoM phosphorylation


Rothe, P.; Wamp, S.; Rosemeyer, L.; Rismondo, J.; Doellinger, J.; Grundling, A.; Halbedel, S.


Bacteria adapt the biosynthesis of their envelopes to specific growth conditions and prevailing stress factors. Peptidoglycan (PG) is the major component of the cell wall in Gram-positive bacteria, where PASTA kinases play a central role in PG biosynthesis regulation. Despite their importance for growth, cell division and antibiotic resistance, the mechanisms of PASTA kinase activation are not fully understood. ReoM, a recently discovered cytosolic phosphoprotein, is one of the main substrates of the PASTA kinase PrkA in the Gram-positive human pathogen Listeria monocytogenes. Depending on its phosphorylation, ReoM controls proteolytic stability of MurA, the first enzyme in the PG biosynthesis pathway. The late cell division protein GpsB has been implicated in PASTA kinase signalling. Consistently, we show that L. monocytogenes prkA and gpsB mutants phenocopied each other. Analysis of in vivo ReoM phosphorylation confirmed GpsB as an activator of PrkA leading to the description of structural features in GpsB that are important for kinase activation. We further show that ReoM phosphorylation is growth-phase dependent and that this kinetic is reliant on the protein phosphatase PrpC. ReoM phosphorylation was inhibited in mutants with defects in MurA degradation, leading to the discovery that artificial MurA overexpression prevented ReoM phosphorylation. Overexpressed MurA must adopt its substrate-bound closed conformation and interact with ReoM to exert this effect, but the extracellular PASTA domains of PrkA or MurJ flippases where not required. Our results indicate that intracellular signals control ReoM phosphorylation and extend current models describing the mechanisms of PASTA kinase activation.

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