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The amount of cell surface fibronectin (Fn)-binding protein (FnBP) adhesin expressed by Staphylococcus aureus is maximal during exponential growth but disappears rapidly as the culture progresses into stationary phase. To identify factors responsible for the loss of cell surface FnBP, a culture of S. aureus L170, which shows high levels of Fn binding, was(More)
Although the phenomenon of bacterial cell death and lysis has been studied for over 100 years, the contribution of these important processes to bacterial physiology and development has only recently been recognized. Contemporary study of cell death and lysis in a number of different bacteria has revealed that these processes, once thought of as being(More)
Signature tagged mutagenesis has recently revealed that the Ssp serine protease (V8 protease) contributes to in vivo growth and survival of Staphylococcus aureus in different infection models, and our previous work indicated that Ssp could play a role in controlling microbial adhesion. In this study, we describe an operon structure within the ssp locus of(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated a role for Staphylococcus aureus cidA-mediated cell lysis and genomic DNA release in biofilm adherence. The current study extends these findings by examining both temporal and additional genetic factors involved in the control of genomic DNA release and degradation during biofilm maturation. Cell lysis and DNA release were(More)
Programmed cell death (PCD) is a genetically determined process of cellular suicide that is activated in response to cellular stress or damage, as well as in response to the developmental signals in multicellular organisms. Although historically studied in eukaryotes, it has been proposed that PCD also functions in prokaryotes, either during the(More)
The Staphylococcus aureus lrg and cid operons encode homologous proteins that regulate extracellular murein hydrolase activity and penicillin tolerance in a diametrically opposing manner. Although their specific regulatory functions remain unknown, it has been postulated that the functions of CidA and LrgA are analogous to those of bacteriophage holins and(More)
The Staphylococcus aureus cidA and lrgA genes have been shown to affect cell lysis under a variety of conditions during planktonic growth. It is hypothesized that these genes encode holins and antiholins, respectively, and may serve as molecular control elements of bacterial cell lysis. To examine the biological role of cell death and lysis, we studied the(More)
Recent studies have shown that expression of the Staphylococcus aureus lrgAB operon inhibits murein hydrolase activity and decreases sensitivity to penicillin-induced killing. It was proposed that the lrgAB gene products function in a manner analogous to an antiholin, inhibiting a putative holin from transporting murein hydrolases out of the cell. In the(More)
The production of Staphylococcus aureus virulence factors is under the control of complex regulatory circuits. Most studies aimed at defining these regulatory networks have focused on derivatives of the strain NCTC 8325, most notably RN6390. However, all NCTC 8325 derivatives, including RN6390, possess an 11 bp deletion in rsbU. This deletion renders NCTC(More)
The SspB cysteine protease of Staphylococcus aureus is expressed in an operon, flanked by the sspA serine protease, and sspC, encoding a 12.9-kDa protein of unknown function. SspB was expressed as a 40-kDa prepropeptide pSspB, which did not undergo autocatalytic maturation. Activity of pSspB was reduced compared with 22-kDa mature SspB, but it was(More)