Overproduction of individual gas vesicle proteins perturbs flotation, antibiotic production and cell division in the enterobacterium Serratia sp. ATCC 39006.
Gas vesicles are intracellular proteinaceous organelles that facilitate bacterial colonization of static water columns. In the enterobacterium Serratia sp. ATCC 39006, gas vesicle formation requires the proteins GvpA1, GvpF1, GvpG, GvpA2, GvpK, GvpA3, GvpF2 and GvpF3 and the three gas vesicle regulatory proteins GvrA, GvrB and GvrC. Deletion of gvpC alters gas vesicle robustness and deletion of gvpN or gvpV results in small bicone vesicles. In this work, we assessed the impacts on gas vesicle formation when each of these 14 essential proteins was overexpressed. Overproduction of GvpF1, GvpF2, GvrA, GvrB or GvrC all resulted in significantly reduced gas vesicle synthesis. Perturbations in gas vesicle formation were also observed when GvpV and GvpA3 were in excess. In addition to impacts on gas vesicle formation, overproduction of GvrA or GvrB led to elevated biosynthesis of the tripyrrole pigment, prodigiosin, a secondary metabolite of increasing medical interest due to its antimalarial and anticancer properties. Finally, when GvpG was overexpressed, gas vesicles were still produced, but the cells exhibited a growth defect. Further analysis showed that induction of GvpG arrested cell growth and caused a drop in viable count, suggesting a possible physiological role for this protein linking gas vesicle biogenesis and binary fission. These combined results demonstrate that the stoichiometry of individual gas vesicle proteins is crucially important for controlled organelle morphogenesis and flotation and provides evidence for the first link between gas vesicle assembly and cell division, to our knowledge.
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/E015581/1)
Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BB/N008081/1)