Coordinated Assembly of the Bacillus anthracis Coat and Exosporium during Bacterial Spore Outer Layer Formation. Journal Article

Authors: Boone, TJ; Mallozzi, M; Nelson, A; Thompson, B; Khemmani, M; Lehmann, D; Dunkle, A; Hoeprich, P; Rasley, A; Stewart, G.; Driks, A
Article Title: Coordinated Assembly of the Bacillus anthracis Coat and Exosporium during Bacterial Spore Outer Layer Formation.
Abstract: Bacterial spores produced by the are composed of concentric shells, each of which contributes to spore function. Spores from all species possess a cortex and coat, but spores from many species possess additional outer layers. The outermost layer of spores, the exosporium, is separated from the coat by a gap known as the interspace. Exosporium and interspace assembly remains largely mysterious. As a result, we have a poor understanding of the overarching mechanisms driving the assembly of one of the most ubiquitous cell types in nature. To elucidate the mechanisms directing exosporium assembly, we generated strains bearing mutations in candidate exosporium-controlling genes and analyzed the effect on exosporium formation. Biochemical and cell biological analyses argue that CotE directs the assembly of CotO into the spore and that CotO might be located at or close to the interior side of the cap. Taken together with data showing that CotE and CotO interact directly , we propose a model in which CotE and CotO are important components of a protein interaction network that connects the exosporium to the forespore during cap formation and exosporium elongation. Our data also suggest that the cap interferes with coat assembly at one pole of the spore, altering the pattern of coat deposition compared to the model organism We propose that the difference in coat assembly patterns between these two species is due to an inherent flexibility in coat assembly, which may facilitate the evolution of spore outer layer complexity. This work dramatically improves our understanding of the assembly of the outermost layer of the spore, the exosporium, a layer that encases spores from many bacterial species and likely plays important roles in the spore's interactions with the environment, including host tissues. Nonetheless, the mechanisms directing exosporium assembly into a shell surrounding the spore are still very poorly understood. In this study, we clarify these mechanisms by the identification of a novel protein interaction network that directs assembly to initiate at a specific subcellular location in the developing cell. Our results further suggest that the presence or absence of an exosporium has a major impact on the assembly of other more interior spore layers, thereby potentially explaining long-noted differences in spore assembly between and the model organism .
Journal Title: mBio
ISSN: 2150-7511
Publisher: Unknown  
Date Published: 2018