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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A PhoP/PhoQ-induced Lipase (PagL) that catalyzes 3-O-deacylation of lipid A precursors in membranes of Salmonella typhimurium.

Pathogenic bacteria modify the structure of the lipid A portion of their lipopolysaccharide in response to environmental changes. Some lipid A modifications are important for virulence and resistance to cationic antimicrobial peptides. The two-component system PhoP/PhoQ plays a central role in regulating lipid A modification. We now report the discovery of a PhoP/PhoQ-activated gene (pagL) in Salmonella typhimurium, encoding a deacylase that removes the R-3-hydroxymyristate moiety attached at position 3 of certain lipid A precursors. The deacylase gene (pagL) was identified by assaying for loss of deacylase activity in extracts of 14 random TnphoA::pag insertion mutants. The pagL gene encodes a protein of 185 amino acid residues unique to S. typhimurium and closely related organisms such as Salmonella typhi. Heterologous expression of pagL in Escherichia coli on plasmid pWLP21 results in loss of the R-3-hydroxymyristate moiety at position 3 in approximately 90% of the lipid A molecules but does not inhibit cell growth. PagL is synthesized with a 20-amino acid N-terminal signal peptide and is localized mainly in the outer membrane, as judged by assays of separated S. typhimurium membranes and by SDS-polyacrylamide gel analysis of membranes from E. coli cells that overexpress PagL. The function of PagL is unknown, given that S. typhimurium mutants lacking pagL display no obvious phenotypes, but PagL might nevertheless play a role in pathogenesis if it serves to modulate the cytokine response of an infected animal host.[1]


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