Subunit arrangement in GpsB, a regulator of cell wall biosynthesis

Robert M. Cleverley, Jeanine Rismondo, Michael Lockhart, Paulien T. Van Bentum, Alexander J F Egan, Waldemar Vollmer, Sven Halbedel, Clair Baldock, Eefjan Breukink, Richard J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


GpsB, a key regulator of cell division in Gram-positive bacteria, interacts with a key peptidoglycan synthase at the cell division septum, the penicillin binding protein PBP1 (a.k.a. PonA). Bacillus subtilis GpsB has been reported to interact with other components of the cell division machinery, including EzrA, MreC, and PrkC. In this study, we report an analysis of the arrangement of subunits in Listeria monocytogenes GpsB by small-angle X-ray scattering. The resulting model has an elongated shape with residues critical for interaction with PBP1 and the cell membrane clustered at one end of the molecule. Mutations that destabilize the hexameric assembly of the wild-type protein have a gpsB null phenotype, indicating that oligomerization is critical for the correct function of GpsB. We suggest a model in which a single GpsB hexamer can interact with multiple PBP1 molecules and can therefore influence the arrangement of PBP1 molecules within the cell division machinery, a dynamic multiprotein complex called the divisome, consistent with a role for GpsB in modulating the synthesis of the cell wall.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-460
Number of pages15
JournalMicrobial Drug Resistance
Issue number6
Early online date3 Jun 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


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