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YejM Modulates Activity of the YciM/FtsH Protease Complex To Prevent Lethal Accumulation of Lipopolysaccharide

Author(s): Guest, Randi L; Samé Guerra, Daniel; Wissler, Maria; Grimm, Jacqueline; Silhavy, Thomas J

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Abstract: Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is an essential glycolipid present in the outer membrane (OM) of many Gram-negative bacteria. Balanced biosynthesis of LPS is critical for cell viability; too little LPS weakens the OM, while too much LPS is lethal. In Escherichia coli, this balance is maintained by the YciM/FtsH protease complex, which adjusts LPS levels by degrading the LPS biosynthesis enzyme LpxC. Here, we provide evidence that activity of the YciM/FtsH protease complex is inhibited by the essential protein YejM. Using strains in which LpxC activity is reduced, we show that yciM is epistatic to yejM, demonstrating that YejM acts upstream of YciM to prevent toxic overproduction of LPS. Previous studies have shown that this toxicity can be suppressed by deleting lpp, which codes for a highly abundant OM lipoprotein. It was assumed that deletion of lpp restores lipid balance by increasing the number of acyl chains available for glycerophospholipid biosynthesis. We show that this is not the case. Rather, our data suggest that preventing attachment of lpp to the peptidoglycan sacculus allows excess LPS to be shed in vesicles. We propose that this loss of OM material allows continued transport of LPS to the OM, thus preventing lethal accumulation of LPS within the inner membrane. Overall, our data justify the commitment of three essential inner membrane proteins to avoid toxic over- or underproduction of LPS.
Publication Date: 14-Apr-2020
Citation: Guest, Randi L, Samé Guerra, Daniel, Wissler, Maria, Grimm, Jacqueline, Silhavy, Thomas J. (2020). YejM Modulates Activity of the YciM/FtsH Protease Complex To Prevent Lethal Accumulation of Lipopolysaccharide. mBio, 11 (2), 10.1128/mbio.00598-20
DOI: doi:10.1128/mbio.00598-20
ISSN: 2150-7511
EISSN: 2150-7511
Pages: e00598-20 - e00598-20
Language: eng
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: mBio
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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