Rolain T, Bernard E, Beaussart A, Degand H, Courtin P, Egge-Jacobsen W, Bron PA, Morsomme P, Kleerebezem M, Chapot-Chartier MP, Dufrêne YF, Hols P
Acm2, the major autolysin of Lactobacillus plantarum, is a tripartite protein. Its catalytic domain is surrounded by an O-glycosylated N-terminal region rich in Ala, Ser, and Thr (AST domain), which is of low complexity and unknown function, and a C-terminal region composed of five SH3b peptidoglycan (PG) binding domains. Here, we investigate the contribution of these two accessory domains and of O-glycosylation to Acm2 functionality. We demonstrate that Acm2 is an N-acetylglucosaminidase and identify the pattern of O-glycosylation (21 mono-N-acetylglucosamines) of its AST domain. The O-glycosylation process is species-specific as Acm2 purified from Lactococcus lactis is not glycosylated. We therefore explored the functional role of O-glycosylation by purifying different truncated versions of Acm2 that were either glycosylated or non-glycosylated. We show that SH3b domains are able to bind PG and are responsible for Acm2 targeting to the septum of dividing cells, whereas the AST domain and its O-glycosylation are not involved in this process. Notably, our data reveal that the lack of O-glycosylation of the AST domain significantly increases Acm2 enzymatic activity, whereas removal of SH3b PG binding domains dramatically reduces this activity. Based on this antagonistic role, we propose a model in which access of the Acm2 catalytic domain to its substrate may be hindered by the AST domain where O-glycosylation changes its conformation and/or mediates interdomain interactions. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that O-glycosylation is shown to control the activity of a bacterial enzyme.