PBP2b plays a key role in both peripheral growth and septum positioning in Lactococcus lactis

Blandine David, Marie-Clémence Duchêne, Gabrielle Laurie Haustenne, Daniel Pérez-Núñez, Marie-Pierre Chapot-Chartier, Xavier De Bolle, Eric Guédon, Pascal Hols, Bernard Hallet

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Lactococcus lactis is an ovoid bacterium that forms filaments during planktonic and biofilm lifestyles by uncoupling cell division from cell elongation. In this work, we investigate the role of the leading peptidoglycan synthase PBP2b that is dedicated to cell elongation in ovococci. We show that the localization of a fluorescent derivative of PBP2b remains associated to the septal region and superimposed with structural changes of FtsZ during both vegetative growth and filamentation indicating that PBP2b remains intimately associated to the division machinery during the whole cell cycle. In addition, we show that PBP2b-negative cells of L. lactis are not only defective in peripheral growth; they are also affected in septum positioning. This septation defect does not simply result from the absence of the protein in the cell growth machinery since it is also observed when PBP2b-deficient cells are complemented by a catalytically inactive variant of PBP2b. Finally, we show that round cells resulting from β-lactam treatment are not altered in septation, suggesting that shape elongation as such is not a major determinant for selection of the division site. Altogether, we propose that the specific PBP2b transpeptidase activity at the septum plays an important role for tagging future division sites during L. lactis cell cycle.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198014
Pages (from-to)e0198014
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2018


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