Role of the Cell Wall Microenvironment in Expression of a Heterologous SpaP-S1 Fusion Protein by Streptococcus gordonii
Halperin, Scott A.
Lee, Song F.
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The charge density in the cell wall microenvironment of Gram-positive bacteria is believed to influence the expression of heterologous proteins. To test this, the expression of a SpaP-S1 fusion protein, consisting of the surface protein SpaP of Streptococcus mutans and a pertussis toxin S1 fragment, was studied in the live vaccine candidate bacterium Streptococcus gordonii. Results showed that the parent strain PM14 expressed very low levels of SpaP-S1. By comparison, the dlt mutant strain, which has a mutation in the dlt operon preventing D-alanylation of the cell wall lipoteichoic acids, and another mutant strain, OB219(pPM14), which lacks the LPXTG major surface proteins SspA and SspB, expressed more SpaP-S1 than the parent. Both the dlt mutant and the OB219(pPM14) strain had a more negatively charged cell surface than PM14, suggesting that the negative charged cell wall played a role in the increase in SpaP-S1 production. Accordingly, the addition of Ca(2+), Mg(2+), and K(+), presumably increasing the positive charge of the cell wall, led to a reduction in SpaP-S1 production, while the addition of bicarbonate resulted in an increase in SpaP-S1 production. The level of SpaP-S1 production could be correlated with the level of PrsA, a peptidyl-prolyl cis/trans isomerase, in the cells. PrsA expression appears to be regulated by the cell envelope stress two-component regulatory system LiaSR. The results collectively indicate that the charge density of the cell wall microenvironment can modulate heterologous SpaP-S1 protein expression in S. gordonii and that this modulation is mediated by the level of PrsA, whose expression is regulated by the LiaSR two-component regulatory system.
Davis, Elisabeth, Dustin Kennedy, Scott A. Halperin, and Song F. Lee. 2011. "Role of the Cell Wall Microenvironment in Expression of a Heterologous SpaP-S1 Fusion Protein by Streptococcus gordonii." Applied and Environmental Microbiology 77(5): 1660-1666.