The article presenting results of cooperation between the team of Dr. Hab. Izabela Sabała from the Protein Engineering Laboratory of Mossakowski Medical Research Institute, PAS and the group of Prof. Jean-Pierre Simorre from the Institute de Biologie Structurale (IBS) in Grenoble was published in Nature Communications. The published research was conducted at the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw, the MMRI PAS and Universite Grenoble Alpes.


The article presents the results of research on the interactions between peptidoglycan hydrolases and bacterial cell walls, which play crucial role in the life and virulence of bacteria. Bacterial cell walls are very stable, thus protecting the cell interior against external factors, but at the same time they must be very plastic to allow cell growth and division. Reconciling these two opposing features is possible thanks to the very close coordination and regulation of wall metabolism. It has been observed that peptidoglycan, a key component of bacterial cell walls, has a significant impact on the regulation of two enzymes, lysostaphin and LytM. Using nuclear magnetic resonance and mass spectrometry, the authors showed that the structure of Staphylococcus aureus peptidoglycan influences the specificity of hydrolysis carried out by these two enzymes. The obtained results allowed to propose a model in which peptidoglycan cross-linking affects the activity, selectivity and specificity of these two structurally related enzymes in different ways. These results can be very helpful in developing new strategies to combat bacterial infections, which is especially important in the era of spreading antibiotic resistance.


 Izabela Sabała Nature FB 1