Peptidoglycan Hydrolases RipA and Ami1 Are Critical for Replication and Persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Host.

TitlePeptidoglycan Hydrolases RipA and Ami1 Are Critical for Replication and Persistence of Mycobacterium tuberculosis in the Host.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHealy C, Gouzy A, Ehrt S
Date Published2020 03 03

Synthesis and cleavage of the cell wall polymer peptidoglycan (PG) are carefully orchestrated processes and are essential for the growth and survival of bacteria. Yet, the function and importance of many enzymes that act on PG in remain to be elucidated. We demonstrate that the activity of the -acetylmuramyl-l-alanine amidase Ami1 is dispensable for cell division in yet contributes to the bacterium's ability to persist during chronic infection in mice. Furthermore, the d,l-endopeptidase RipA, a predicted essential enzyme, is dispensable for the viability of but required for efficient cell division and Depletion of RipA sensitizes to rifampin and to cell envelope-targeting antibiotics. Ami1 helps sustain residual cell division in cells lacking RipA, but the partial redundancy provided by Ami1 is not sufficient during infection, as depletion of RipA prevents from replicating in macrophages and leads to dramatic killing of the bacteria in mice. Notably, RipA is essential for persistence of in mice, suggesting that cell division is required during chronic mouse infection. Despite the multiplicity of enzymes acting on PG with redundant functions, we have identified two PG hydrolases that are important for to replicate and persist in the host. Tuberculosis (TB) is a major global heath burden, with 1.6 million people succumbing to the disease every year. The search for new drugs to improve the current chemotherapeutic regimen is crucial to reducing this global health burden. The cell wall polymer peptidoglycan (PG) has emerged as a very successful drug target in bacterial pathogens, as many currently used antibiotics target the synthesis of this macromolecule. However, the multitude of genes encoding PG-synthesizing and PG-modifying enzymes with apparent redundant functions has hindered the identification of novel drug targets in PG synthesis in Here, we demonstrate that two PG-cleaving enzymes are important for virulence of In particular, the d,l-endopeptidase RipA represents a potentially attractive drug target, as its depletion results in the clearance of from the host and renders the bacteria hypersusceptible to rifampin, a frontline TB drug, and to several cell wall-targeting antibiotics.

Alternate JournalmBio
PubMed ID32127458
PubMed Central IDPMC7064781
Grant ListR01 AI063446 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States
U19 AI111143 / AI / NIAID NIH HHS / United States

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