Cyclic-di-AMP synthesis by the diadenylate cyclase CdaA is modulated by the peptidoglycan biosynthesis enzyme GlmM in lactococcus lactis

Yan Zhu, Thi Huong Pham, Thi Hanh Nguyen Nhiep, Ngoc Minh Thu Vu, Esteban Marcellin, Alolika Chakrabortti, Yuanliang Wang, Jennifer Waanders, Raquel Lo, Wilhelmina M. Huston, Nidhi Bansal, Lars K. Nielsen, Zhao Xun Liang, Mark S. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The second messenger cyclic-di-adenosine monophosphate (c-di-AMP) plays important roles in growth, virulence, cell wall homeostasis, potassium transport and affects resistance to antibiotics, heat and osmotic stress. Most Firmicutes contain only one c-di-AMP synthesizing diadenylate cyclase (CdaA); however, little is known about signals and effectors controlling CdaA activity and c-di-AMP levels. In this study, a genetic screen was employed to identify components which affect the c-di-AMP level in Lactococcus. We characterized suppressor mutations that restored osmoresistance to spontaneous c-di-AMP phosphodiesterase gdpP mutants, which contain high c-di-AMP levels. Loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations were identified in the cdaA and gdpP genes, respectively, which led to lower c-di-AMP levels. A mutation was also identified in the phosphoglucosamine mutase gene glmM, which is commonly located within the cdaA operon in bacteria. The glmM I154F mutation resulted in a lowering of the c-di-AMP level and a reduction in the key peptidoglycan precursor UDP-N-acetylglucosamine in L. lactis. C-di-AMP synthesis by CdaA was shown to be inhibited by GlmMI154F more than GlmM and GlmMI154F was found to bind more strongly to CdaA than GlmM. These findings identify GlmM as a c-di-AMP level modulating protein and provide a direct connection between c-di-AMP synthesis and peptidoglycan biosynthesis. c-di-AMP is an essential signalling molecule which affects peptidoglycan homeostasis and resistance against various stressors, however little is known regarding how the c-di-AMP level is regulated in the cell. Here we identify the peptidoglycan biosynthesis enzyme GlmM as a modulator of c-di-AMP synthesis through its regulation of diadenylate cyclase enzyme CdaA activity in Lactococcus lactis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1015-1027
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Microbiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Cite this