Elucidation of a protein-protein interaction network involved in Corynebacterium glutamicum cell wall biosynthesis as determined by bacterial two-hybrid analysis

Monika Jankute, Charlotte V Byng, Luke J Alderwick, Gurdyal S Besra

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8 Citations (Scopus)
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Mycobacterium species have a highly complex and unique cell wall that consists of a large macromolecular structure termed the mycolyl-arabinogalactan-peptidoglycan (mAGP) complex. This complex is essential for growth, survival and virulence of the human pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and is the target of several anti-tubercular drugs. The closely related species Corynebacterium glutamicum has proven useful in the study of orthologous M. tuberculosis genes and proteins involved in mAGP synthesis. This study examines the construction of a protein-protein interaction network for the major cell wall component arabinogalactan in C. glutamicum based on the use of a bacterial two-hybrid system. We have identified twenty-four putative homotypic and heterotypic protein interactions in vivo. Our results demonstrate an association between glycosyltransferases, GlfT1 and AftB, and interaction between the sub-units of decaprenylphosphoribose epimerase, DprE1 and DprE2. These analyses have also shown that AftB interacts with AftA, which catalyzes the addition of the first three arabinose units onto the galactan chain. Both AftA and AftB associate with other arabinofuranosyltransferases, including Emb and AftC, that elongate and branch the arabinan domain. Moreover, a number of proteins involved in arabinogalactan biosynthesis were shown to form dimers or multimers. These findings provide a useful recourse for understanding the biosynthesis and function of the mycobacterial cell wall, as well as providing new therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)475-483
JournalGlycoconjugate journal
Issue number6-7
Early online date13 Aug 2014
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014


  • Arabinogalactan
  • Biosynthesis
  • Cell wall
  • Corynebacteria
  • Mycobacteria
  • Protein-protein interactions


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