Bacteria alter their cell surface in response to changing environments, including those encountered upon invasion of a host during infection. One alteration that occurs in several Gram-positive pathogens is the presentation of cell wall-anchored components of the iron-regulated surface determinant (Isd) system, which extracts heme from host hemoglobin to fulfill the bacterial requirement for iron. Staphylococcus lugdunensis, an opportunistic pathogen that causes infective endocarditis, encodes an Isd system. Unique among the known Isd systems, S. lugdunensis contains a gene encoding a putative autolysin located adjacent to the Isd operon. To elucidate the function of this putative autolysin, here named IsdP, we investigated its contribution to Isd protein localization and hemoglobin-dependent iron acquisition. S. lugdunensis IsdP was found to be iron regulated and cotranscribed with the Isd operon. IsdP is a specialized peptidoglycan hydrolase that cleaves the stem peptide and pentaglycine crossbridge of the cell wall and alters processing and anchoring of a major Isd system component, IsdC. Perturbation of IsdC localization due to isdP inactivation results in a hemoglobin utilization growth defect. These studies establish IsdP as an autolysin that functions in heme acquisition and describe a role for IsdP in cell wall reorganization to accommodate nutrient uptake systems during infection.
Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.