Characterization of CrgA, a New Partner of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Peptidoglycan Polymerization Complexes▿†


The role(s) in cell division of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis Rv0011c gene product, a homolog of the Streptomyces CrgA protein that is responsible for coordinating growth and cytokinesis in sporogenic aerial hyphae, is largely unknown. We show that an enhanced cyan fluorescent protein-M. tuberculosis CrgA (ECFP-CrgAMT) fusion protein is localized to the cell membrane, midcell, and cell pole regions in Mycobacterium smegmatis. Furthermore, the ECFP-CrgAMT fusion protein colocalized with FtsZ-enhanced yellow fluorescent protein (EYFP) in M. smegmatis. Bacterial two-hybrid assays indicated strong interactions of M. tuberculosis CrgA with FtsZ, FtsQ, and the class B penicillin-binding proteins, FtsI (PBPB) and PBPA. The midcell localization of CrgAMT was severely compromised under conditions of FtsZ depletion, which indicated that CrgA localizes to the midcell region after assembly of the FtsZ ring. M. tuberculosis cells with reduced CrgA levels were elongated and grew more slowly than wild-type cells, which indicated defects in cell division, whereas CrgA overproduction did not show growth defects. A M. smegmatis ΔcrgA strain exhibited a bulged cell morphology, elongated cells with a chain-like phenotype, cells with polar bulbous structures, and a modest growth defect. FtsZ and FtsI levels were not affected in cells producing altered levels of CrgA. Septal and membrane localization of GFP-FtsI was enhanced by CrgA overproduction and was diminished in a ΔcrgA strain, which indicates that one role of CrgA is to promote and/or stabilize FtsI localization. Overall, these data indicate that CrgA is a novel member of the cell division complex in mycobacteria and possibly facilitates septum formation

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This paper was published in PubMed Central.

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