Lateral partitioning of proteins and lipids shapes membrane function. In model membranes, partitioning can be influenced both by bilayer-intrinsic factors like molecular composition and by bilayer-extrinsic factors such as interactions with other membranes and solid supports. While cellular membranes can departition in response to bilayer-intrinsic or -extrinsic disruptions, the mechanisms by which they partition de novo are largely unknown. The plasma membrane of Mycobacterium smegmatis spatially and biochemically departitions in response to the fluidizing agent benzyl alcohol, then repartitions upon fluidizer washout. By screening for mutants that are sensitive to benzyl alcohol, we show that the bifunctional cell wall synthase PonA2 promotes membrane partitioning and cell growth during recovery from benzyl alcohol exposure. PonA2's role in membrane repartitioning and regrowth depends solely on its conserved transglycosylase domain. Active cell wall polymerization promotes de novo membrane partitioning and the completed cell wall polymer helps to maintain membrane partitioning. Our work highlights the complexity of membrane-cell wall interactions and establishes a facile model system for departitioning and repartitioning cellular membranes.
Sequencing data have been deposited in NIH SRA under accession codes PRJNA976743.All data generated or analysed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting file; Source Data files have been provided for all Figures and figure supplements.
- Yasu S Morita
- M Sloan Siegrist
- M Sloan Siegrist
- Yasu S Morita
- Enrique R Rojas
- Emily S Melzer
- Takehiro Kado
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
- Petra Anne Levin, Washington University in St. Louis, United States
© 2023, Kado et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Intracellular levels of the amino acid aspartate are responsive to changes in metabolism in mammalian cells and can correspondingly alter cell function, highlighting the need for robust tools to measure aspartate abundance. However, comprehensive understanding of aspartate metabolism has been limited by the throughput, cost, and static nature of the mass spectrometry (MS)-based measurements that are typically employed to measure aspartate levels. To address these issues, we have developed a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-based sensor of aspartate (jAspSnFR3), where the fluorescence intensity corresponds to aspartate concentration. As a purified protein, the sensor has a 20-fold increase in fluorescence upon aspartate saturation, with dose-dependent fluorescence changes covering a physiologically relevant aspartate concentration range and no significant off target binding. Expressed in mammalian cell lines, sensor intensity correlated with aspartate levels measured by MS and could resolve temporal changes in intracellular aspartate from genetic, pharmacological, and nutritional manipulations. These data demonstrate the utility of jAspSnFR3 and highlight the opportunities it provides for temporally resolved and high-throughput applications of variables that affect aspartate levels.
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