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Modulation of bacterial cell size and growth rate via activation of a cell envelope stress response

Miguel, Amanda and Zietek, Matylda and Shi, Handuo and Sueki, Anna and Maier, Lisa and Verheul, Jolanda and den Blaauwen, Tanneke and Van Valen, David and Typas, Athanasios and Huang, Kerwyn Casey (2022) Modulation of bacterial cell size and growth rate via activation of a cell envelope stress response. . (Unpublished)

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Fluctuating conditions and diverse stresses are typical in natural environments. In response, cells mount complex responses across multiple scales, including adjusting their shape to withstand stress. In enterobacteria, the Rcs phosphorelay is activated by cell envelope damage and by changes to periplasmic dimensions and cell width. Here, we investigated the physiological and morphological consequences of Rcs activation in Escherichia coli in the absence of stresses, using an inducible version of RcsF that mislocalizes to the inner membrane, RcsFIM. Expression of RcsFIM immediately reduced cellular growth rate and the added length per cell cycle in a manner that was directly dependent on induction levels, but independent of Rcs-induced capsule production. At the same time, cells increased intracellular concentration of the cell division protein FtsZ, and decreased the distance between division rings in filamentous cells. Depletion of the Rcs negative regulator IgaA phenocopied RcsFIM induction, indicating that IgaA is essential due to growth inhibition in its absence. However, A22 treatment did not affect growth rate or FtsZ intracellular concentration, despite activating the Rcs system. These findings suggest that the effect of Rcs activation on FtsZ levels is mediated indirectly through growth-rate changes, and highlight feedbacks among the Rcs stress response, growth dynamics, and cell-size control.

Item Type:Report or Paper (Discussion Paper)
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Shi, Handuo0000-0002-1688-6905
Maier, Lisa0000-0002-6473-4762
Verheul, Jolanda0000-0001-6704-580X
den Blaauwen, Tanneke0000-0002-5403-5597
Van Valen, David0000-0001-7534-7621
Typas, Athanasios0000-0002-0797-9018
Huang, Kerwyn Casey0000-0002-8043-8138
Additional Information:The copyright holder for this preprint is the author/funder, who has granted bioRxiv a license to display the preprint in perpetuity. The authors thank the Huang and Typas labs for useful discussions. This work was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (to A.M.), an ARCS Fellowship (to A.M.), a James McDonnell Postdoctoral Fellowship (to H.S.), EMBL core funding and a DFG grant (TY 116/2-1) for SPP1617 (to A.T.), NIH Director’s New Innovator Award DP2OD006466 (to K.C.H.), NSF CAREER Award MCB-1149328 and grant EF-2125383 (to K.C.H.), and the Allen Discovery Center at Stanford on Systems Modeling of Infection (to K.C.H.). K.C.H. is a Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator. This work was also supported in part by the National Science Foundation under Grant PHYS-1066293 and the hospitality of the Aspen Center for Physics. The authors have declared no competing interest.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSF Graduate Research FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
James McDonnell FoundationUNSPECIFIED
European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL)UNSPECIFIED
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)TY 116/2-1
Stanford UniversityUNSPECIFIED
Chan Zuckerberg BiohubUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:Rcs phosphorelay; cell shape; FtsZ; IgaA; RcsF; A22; cell division; morphogenesis, growth rate
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20220728-119864000
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Modulation of bacterial cell size and growth rate via activation of a cell envelope stress response Amanda Miguel, Matylda Zietek, Handuo Shi, Anna Sueki, Lisa Maier, Jolanda Verheul, Tanneke den Blaauwen, David Ashley Van Valen, Athanasios Typas, Kerwyn Casey Huang bioRxiv 2022.07.26.501648; doi:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:115931
Deposited By: George Porter
Deposited On:28 Jul 2022 22:48
Last Modified:28 Jul 2022 22:48

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