Expression of genes required for natural genetic competence in Staphylococcus aureus is controlled by an alternative transcription sigma factor, SigH. However, even in the SigH-expressing cells, the DNA transformation efficiency varies depending on culture conditions. We report here that cells grown in the competence-inducing medium (CS2 medium) exhibit enlarged morphology with disintegrated cell walls. Notably, an autolysis inhibitor, Sodium Polyanethol Sulfonate (SPS), facilitated transformation in CS2 medium in a dose-dependent manner, suggesting the involvement of the cell wall metabolism in transformation. However, the transformation efficiency of cells grown in TSB was not improved by physical or enzymatic damage on the cell walls.
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We thank Ms. Junko Sakamoto for electron microscopy. This work was supported by Takeda Science Foundation, Pfizer Academic Contributions, and The Waksman Foundation of Japan.
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The authors declare no conflict of interest.
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Nguyen, L.T.T., Takemura, A.J., Ohniwa, R.L. et al. Sodium Polyanethol Sulfonate Modulates Natural Transformation of SigH-Expressing Staphylococcus aureus . Curr Microbiol 75, 499–504 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00284-017-1409-5