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Identification and Characterization of a Peptidoglycan Hydrolase, MurA, of Listeria monocytogenes, a Muramidase Needed for Cell Separation

By Shannon A. Carroll, Torsten Hain, Ulrike Technow, Ayub Darji, Philippos Pashalidis, Sam W. Joseph and Trinad Chakraborty


A novel cell wall hydrolase encoded by the murA gene of Listeria monocytogenes is reported here. Mature MurA is a 66-kDa cell surface protein that is recognized by the well-characterized L. monocytogenes-specific monoclonal antibody EM-7G1. MurA displays two characteristic features: (i) an N-terminal domain with homology to muramidases from several gram-positive bacterial species and (ii) four copies of a cell wall-anchoring LysM repeat motif present within its C-terminal domain. Purified recombinant MurA produced in Escherichia coli was confirmed to be an authentic cell wall hydrolase with lytic properties toward cell wall preparations of Micrococcus lysodeikticus. An isogenic mutant with a deletion of murA that lacked the 66-kDa cell wall hydrolase grew as long chains during exponential growth. Complementation of the mutant strain by chromosomal reintegration of the wild-type gene restored expression of this murein hydrolase activity and cell separation levels to those of the wild-type strain. Studies reported herein suggest that the MurA protein is involved in generalized autolysis of L. monocytogenes

Topics: Molecular Biology of Pathogens
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JB.185.23.6801-6808.2003
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:262698
Provided by: PubMed Central
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