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Marchand C.H.,Equipe de Chimie des Proteines | Marchand C.H.,University Paris - Sud | Marchand C.H.,University Pierre and Marie Curie | Salmeron C.,Equipe de Microbiologie Moleculaire et Cellulaire | And 20 more authors.
Journal of Bacteriology

Corynebacterineae is a specific suborder of Gram-positive bacteria that includes Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Corynebacterium glutamicum. The cell wall of these bacteria is composed of a heteropolymer of peptidoglycan (PG) linked to arabinogalactan (AG), which in turn is covalently associated with an atypical outer membrane, here called mycomembrane (M). The latter structure has been visualized by cryo-electron microscopy of vitreous sections, but its biochemical composition is still poorly defined, thereby hampering the elucidation of its physiological function. In this report, we show for the first time that the mycomembrane-linked heteropolymer of PG and AG (M-AG-PG) of C. glutamicum can be physically separated from the inner membrane on a flotation density gradient. Analysis of purified M-AG-PG showed that the lipids that composed the mycomembrane consisted almost exclusively of mycolic acid derivatives, with only a tiny amount, if any, of phospholipids and lipomannans, which were found with the characteristic lipoarabinomannans in the plasma membrane. Proteins associated with or inserted in the mycomembrane were extracted from M-AG-PG with lauryl-dimethylamine-oxide (LDAO), loaded on an SDSPAGE gel, and analyzed by tandem mass spectrometry or by Western blotting. Sixty-eight different proteins were identified, 19 of which were also found in mycomembrane fragments released by the terminal-arabinosyl-transferase-defective ΔAftB strain. Almost all of them are predicted to contain a signal sequence and to adopt the characteristic β-barrel structure of Gram-negative outer membrane proteins. These presumed mycomembrane proteins include the already-known pore-forming proteins (PorA and PorB), 5 mycoloyltransferases (cMytA, cMytB, cMytC, cMytD, and cMytF), several lipoproteins, and unknown proteins typified by a putative C-terminal hydrophobic anchor. © 2012, American Society for Microbiology. Source

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