loading page

Clp ATPases differentially affect natural competence development in Streptococcus mutans
  • Satya Pandey,
  • Indranil Biswas
Satya Pandey
University of Kansas Medical Center

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Indranil Biswas
University of Kansas Medical Center
Author Profile


In naturally competent bacteria, DNA transformation through horizontal gene transfer is an evolutionary mechanism to receive extracellular DNA. Bacteria need to maintain a state of competence to accept foreign DNA and this is an energy-driven phenomenon that is tightly controlled. In Streptococcus, competence development is a complex process that is not fully understood. In this study, we used Streptococcus mutans, an oral bacterium, to determine how cell density affects competence development. We found that in S. mutans the transformation efficiency is maximum when the transforming DNA was added at low cell density and incubated for 2.5 h before selecting for transformants. We also found that S. mutans cells remain competent until the mid-logarithmic phase, after which the competence decreases drastically. Surprisingly, we observed that individual components of Clp proteolytic complexes differentially regulate competence. If the transformation is carried out at the early growth phase, both ClpP protease and ClpX ATPase are needed for competence. In contrast, we found that both ClpC and ClpE negatively affect competence. We also found that if the transformation is carried out at the mid-logarithmic growth phase ClpX is still required for competence but ClpP negatively affects competence. While the exact reason for this differential effect of ClpP and ClpX on transformation is currently unknown, we found that both ClpC and ClpE have a negative effect on transformation, which was not reported before.
07 Dec 2021Submitted to MicrobiologyOpen
08 Dec 2021Submission Checks Completed
08 Dec 2021Assigned to Editor
08 Dec 2021Reviewer(s) Assigned
19 Dec 2021Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
21 Dec 2021Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
08 Mar 20221st Revision Received
09 Mar 2022Submission Checks Completed
09 Mar 2022Assigned to Editor
09 Mar 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
10 Mar 2022Reviewer(s) Assigned
23 Mar 2022Editorial Decision: Revise Minor
23 Apr 20222nd Revision Received
25 Apr 2022Submission Checks Completed
25 Apr 2022Assigned to Editor
25 Apr 2022Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
27 Apr 2022Editorial Decision: Accept
Jun 2022Published in MicrobiologyOpen volume 11 issue 3. 10.1002/mbo3.1288