Inactivation of MSMEG 0412 gene drastically affects surface related properties of Mycobacterium smegmatisReport as inadecuate

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BMC Microbiology

, 16:267

Microbial genetics, genomics and proteomics


BackgroundThe outermost layer of mycobacterial cell wall is rich in lipids and glycolipids, surface molecules which differ among species. Mycobacterium smegmatis, an attractive model for the study of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic mycobacteria, presents glycopeptidolipids GPLs. All the genes necessary for the biosynthesis of such molecules are clustered in a single region of 65 kb and among them, the msmeg 0412 gene has not been characterized yet. Here we report the isolation and subsequent analysis of a MSMEG 0412 null mutant strain.

ResultsThe inactivation of the msmeg 0412 gene had a drastic impact on bacterial surface properties which resulted in the lack of sliding motility, altered biofilm formation and enhanced drug susceptibility. The GPLs analysis showed that the observed mutant phenotype was due to GPLs deficiencies on the mycobacterial cell wall. In addition, we report that the expression of the gene is enhanced in the presence of lipidic substrates and that the encoded protein has a membrane localization.

Conclusionmsmeg 0412 plays a crucial role for GPLs production and translocation on M. smegmatis surface. Its deletion alters the surface properties and the antibiotic permeability of the mycobacterial cell barrier.

KeywordsMycobacterium smegmatis msmeg 0412 GPLs Lipolytic Cell wall Biofilm AbbreviationsESI-MSElectrospray Ionization Mass Spectometer


TLCThin Layer chromatography

Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-s12866-016-0888-z contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

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Author: Anna Zanfardino - Adriana Migliardi - Daniele D’Alonzo - Angela Lombardi - Mario Varcamonti - Angela Cordone


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