Efficient cell division of Gram-negative bacteria requires the presence of the Tol-Pal system to coordinate outer membrane invagination with inner membrane invagination and peptidoglycan remodeling. The Tol-Pal system is a trans-envelope complex that connects the three layers of the cell envelope through an energy-dependent process. It is composed of the three inner membrane proteins, TolA, TolQ and TolR, the periplasmic protein TolB and the lipoprotein Pal. The proteins of the Tol-Pal system are dynamically recruited to the cell septum during cell division. TolA, the central hub of the Tol-Pal system, has three domains: a transmembrane helix (TolA1), a long second helical periplasmic domain (TolA2) and a C-terminal globular domain (TolA3). The TolQR complex uses the PMF to energize TolA, allowing its cyclic interaction via TolA3 with the OM TolB-Pal complex. Here, we confirm that TolA2 is sufficient to address TolA to the site of constriction, whereas TolA1 is recruited by TolQ. Analysis of the protein localization as function of the bacterial cell age revealed that TolA and TolQ localize earlier at midcell in the absence of the other Tol-Pal proteins. These data suggest that TolA and TolQ are delayed from their septal recruitment by the multiple interactions of TolA with TolB-Pal in the cell envelope providing a new example of temporal regulation of proteins recruitment at the septum.

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By Baccelli P, Rachedi R, Serrano B, Petiti M, Bernard CS, Houot L and Duche D.

Published on 04/03/2022

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