Enteric YaiW is a surface-exposed outer membrane lipoprotein that affects sensitivity to an antimicrobial peptide

Markus F F Arnold, Paola Caro Hernandez, Karen Tan, Giulia Runti, Silvia Wehmeier, Marco Scocchi, William T Doerrler, Graham C Walker, Gail P Ferguson

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16 Citations (Scopus)


YaiW is a previously uncharacterized gene found in enteric bacteria that is of particular interest because it is located adjacent to the sbmA gene, whose bacA ortholog is required for Sinorhizobium meliloti symbiosis and Brucella abortus pathogenesis. We show that yaiW is cotranscribed with sbmA in Escherichia coli and Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi and Typhimurium strains. We present evidence that the YaiW is a palmitate-modified surface exposed outer membrane lipoprotein. Since BacA function affects the very-long-chain fatty acid (VLCFA) modification of S. meliloti and B. abortus lipid A, we tested whether SbmA function might affect either the fatty acid modification of the YaiW lipoprotein or the fatty acid modification of enteric lipid A but found that it did not. Interestingly, we did observe that E. coli SbmA suppresses deficiencies in the VLCFA modification of the lipopolysaccharide of an S. meliloti bacA mutant despite the absence of VLCFA in E. coli. Finally, we found that both YaiW and SbmA positively affect the uptake of proline-rich Bac7 peptides, suggesting a possible connection between their cellular functions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436-444
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Bacteriology
Issue number2
Early online date8 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014

Bibliographical note

We are grateful to Renato Gennaro for carefully reading the manuscript.
We also thank Masatoshi Inukai for kindly providing globomycin and Monica Benincasa for assistance with the flow cytometry assays. This study was supported by MRC New Investigator (G0501107) and BBSRC (BB/D000564/1) grants to G.P.F. and by National Institutes of Health grant GM31030 to G.C.W., who is an American Cancer Society Professor. M.F.F.A. was a SULSA funded Ph.D. student. P.C. and K.T. were funded by the MRC grant, and S.W. was funded by the BBSRC grant. This study was also supported by grants from the Italian
Ministry for University and Research (PRIN 2008) and the Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia under the LR 26/2005 (art. 23) for the R3A2 network.


  • Escherichia-coli SBMA
  • meliloti-baca mutant
  • sinorhizobium-meliloti
  • salmonella-enterica
  • genetic-analysis
  • protein SBMA
  • lipid-A
  • identification
  • phenotypes
  • symbiosis


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