Dr Stéphane Mesnage
0114 222 4405
Microbiology, Enterococcus, Staphylococcus, cell wall, peptidoglycan
My work is focused on the study of the bacterial cell wall using essentially two Gram-positive pathogens (Enterococcus faecalis and Staphylococcus aureus) as models. I am interested in three major areas of research.
Analysis of protein-cell wall interactions
The essential cell wall peptidoglycan polymer network forms a scaffold for the display of a large variety of proteins involved in cell division, metabolism, cell-cell communication and in pathogen interaction with the host. Although several multimodular cell wall binding domains have been identified to date in bacteria, both their structural organisation and binding mechanism (binding motif, subcellular localisation) have remained elusive.
Figure 1: some examples of the methods used to study protein-cell wall interactions.
Control of peptidoglycan hydrolysis during growth
During growth, the insertion of new precursors and separation of daughter cells requires limited cleavage of the peptidoglycan molecule by peptidoglycan hydrolases.
Depending on the bond they cleave, these enzymes are classified as N-acetylmuramidases, N-acetylglucosaminidases, N-acetylmuramoyl L-alanine amidases, endopeptidases or carboxypeptidases (Fig. 2). In addition to their contribution to cell growth and division, some peptidoglycan hydrolases play a role in adhesion and in amplification of the inflammatory response by releasing muramyl-peptides. The lytic activity of some peptidoglycan hydrolases (called autolysins) is potentially lethal and can lead to cell lysis and death. How bacteria control autolytic activities is poorly understood.
Figure 2: site of cleavage of peptidoglycan hydrolases.
I am studying several mechanisms that may be responsible for the control of autolytic activities: (i) the subcellular targeting of autolysins; (ii) the impact of peptidoglycan structural properties on autolytic activities and (iii) the contribution of the electrochemical gradient across the cytoplasmic membrane to the control of peptidoglycan hydrolysis.
Figure 3: analysis of peptidoglycan digestion by autolysins using rp-HPLC and mass spectrophotometry.
Role of Enterococcus faecalis cell wall metabolism in the interaction with the host
Lysozyme is the major component of the innate immune system and represents the first line of defense against pathogens. E. faecalis is highly resistant to lysozyme, with a minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC) above 50 mg/ml. This extreme resistance has been partly explained by an additive effect of peptidoglycan O-acetylation and de-N-acetylation, as well as teichoic acid D-alanylation. It was also shown that full lysozyme resistance requires a signalling cascade involving the extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factor SigV. Interestingly, E. faecalis strains harbouring multiple deletions in these pathways are still resistant to lysozyme.
Figure 4: Lysozyme resistance in Enterococcus faecalis.
Nicola Galley Postdoc (BBSRC funding)
Bartlomiej Salamaga (MBB funding; 2013-)
Isabel Diez (Molecular Medicine)
Level 3 Modules
Level 1 Modules
I welcome applications from international students who are either self-funded or who have scholarships from their governments; see examples of possible projects below.
You can apply for a PhD position in MBB here.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
- Salamaga B, Prajsnar TK, Jareño-Martinez A, Willemse J, Bewley MA, Chau F, Ben Belkacem T, Meijer AH, Dockrell DH, Renshaw SA & Mesnage S (2017) Bacterial size matters: multiple mechanisms controlling septum cleavage and diplococcus formation are critical for the virulence of the opportunistic pathogen Enterococcus faecalis. PLoS Pathogens, 13(7). View this article in WRRO
- Mihelič M, Vlahoviček-Kahlina K, Renko M, Mesnage S, Doberšek A, Taler-Verčič A, Jakas A & Turk D (2017) The mechanism behind the selection of two different cleavage sites in NAG-NAM polymers.. IUCrJ, 4(Pt 2), 185-198. View this article in WRRO
- Bern M, Beniston R & Mesnage S (2016) Towards an automated analysis of bacterial peptidoglycan structure. Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, 409(2), 551-560. View this article in WRRO
- Rodríguez-Rubio L, Gerstmans H, Thorpe S, Mesnage S, Lavigne R & Briers Y (2016) DUF3380 domain from a Salmonella phage endolysin shows potent N -acetylmuramidase activity. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 82(16), 4975-4981. View this article in WRRO
- Oliveira H, Vilas Boas D, Mesnage S, Kluskens LD, Lavigne R, Sillankorva S, Secundo F & Azeredo J (2016) Structural and Enzymatic Characterization of ABgp46, a Novel Phage Endolysin with Broad Anti-Gram-Negative Bacterial Activity. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7. View this article in WRRO
- Wheeler R, Turner RD, Bailey RG, Salamaga B, Mesnage S, Mohamad SAS, Hayhurst EJ, Horsburgh M, Hobbs JK & Foster SJ (2015) Bacterial Cell Enlargement Requires Control of Cell Wall Stiffness Mediated by Peptidoglycan Hydrolases. mBio, 6(4), e00660-15-e00660-15. View this article in WRRO
- Willing SE, Candela T, Shaw HA, Seager Z, Mesnage S, Fagan RP & Fairweather NF (2015) Clostridium difficile surface proteins are anchored to the cell wall using CWB2 motifs that recognise the anionic polymer PSII. Molecular Microbiology, 96(3), 596-608. View this article in WRRO
- Lecerf M, Scheel T, Pashov AD, Jarossay A, Ohayon D, Planchais C, Mesnage S, Berek C, Kaveri SV, Lacroix-Desmazes S & Dimitrov JD (2015) Prevalence and Gene Characteristics of Antibodies with Cofactor-induced HIV-1 Specificity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 290(8), 5203-5213. View this article in WRRO
- Lowry RC, Parker JL, Kumbhar R, Mesnage S, Shaw JG & Stafford GP (2015) The Aeromonas caviae AHA0618 gene modulates cell length and influences swimming and swarming motility. MicrobiologyOpen, 4(2), 220-234. View this article in WRRO
- Dimitrov JD, Planchais C, Scheel T, Ohayon D, Mesnage S, Berek C, Kaveri SV & Lacroix-Desmazes S (2014) A cryptic polyreactive antibody recognizes distinct clades of HIV-1 glycoprotein 120 by an identical binding mechanism.. J Biol Chem, 289(25), 17767-17779.
- Mesnage S, Dellarole M, Baxter NJ, Rouget J-B, Dimitrov JD, Wang N, Fujimoto Y, Hounslow AM, Lacroix-Desmazes S, Fukase K, Foster SJ & Williamson MP (2014) Molecular basis for bacterial peptidoglycan recognition by LysM domains.. Nat Commun, 5, 4269. View this article in WRRO
- Prajsnar TK, Renshaw SA, Ogryzko NV, Foster SJ, Serror P & Mesnage S (2013) Zebrafish as a novel vertebrate model to dissect enterococcal pathogenesis.. Infect Immun, 81(11), 4271-4279. View this article in WRRO
- Veyrier FJ, Williams AH, Mesnage S, Schmitt C, Taha M-K & Boneca IG (2013) De-O-acetylation of peptidoglycan regulates glycan chain extension and affects in vivo survival of Neisseria meningitidis.. Mol Microbiol, 87(5), 1100-1112.
- Mesnage SA & Foster SJ (2013) N-Acetylmuramoyl-L-alanine Amidase, 1, 1401-1407.
- Benachour A, Ladjouzi R, Le Jeune A, Hébert L, Thorpe S, Courtin P, Chapot-Chartier M-P, Prajsnar TK, Foster SJ & Mesnage S (2012) The lysozyme-induced peptidoglycan N-acetylglucosamine deacetylase PgdA (EF1843) is required for Enterococcus faecalis virulence.. J Bacteriol, 194(22), 6066-6073.
- Wheeler R, Mesnage S, Boneca IG, Hobbs JK & Foster SJ (2011) Super-resolution microscopy reveals cell wall dynamics and peptidoglycan architecture in ovococcal bacteria. Molecular Microbiology, 82(5), 1096-1109.
- Dubée V, Chau F, Arthur M, Garry L, Benadda S, Mesnage S, Lefort A & Fantin B (2011) The in vitro contribution of autolysins to bacterial killing elicited by amoxicillin increases with inoculum size in Enterococcus faecalis.. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 55(2), 910-912.
- de Roca FR, Duché C, Dong S, Rincé A, Dubost L, Pritchard DG, Baker JR, Arthur M & Mesnage S (2010) Cleavage specificity of Enterococcus faecalis EnpA (EF1473), a peptidoglycan endopeptidase related to the LytM/lysostaphin family of metallopeptidases.. J Mol Biol, 398(4), 507-517.
- Emirian A, Fromentin S, Eckert C, Chau F, Dubost L, Delepierre M, Gutmann L, Arthur M & Mesnage S (2009) Impact of peptidoglycan O-acetylation on autolytic activities of the Enterococcus faecalis N-acetylglucosaminidase AtlA and N-acetylmuramidase AtlB.. FEBS Lett, 583(18), 3033-3038.
- Bravetti A-L, Mesnage S, Lefort A, Chau F, Eckert C, Garry L, Arthur M & Fantin B (2009) Contribution of the autolysin AtlA to the bactericidal activity of amoxicillin against Enterococcus faecalis JH2-2.. Antimicrob Agents Chemother, 53(4), 1667-1669.
- Mesnage S, Chau F, Dubost L & Arthur M (2008) Role of N-acetylglucosaminidase and N-acetylmuramidase activities in Enterococcus faecalis peptidoglycan metabolism.. J Biol Chem, 283(28), 19845-19853.
- Villet R, Fonvielle M, Busca P, Chemama M, Maillard AP, Hugonnet J-E, Dubost L, Marie A, Josseaume N, Mesnage S, Mayer C, Valéry J-M, Ethève-Quelquejeu M & Arthur M (2007) Idiosyncratic features in tRNAs participating in bacterial cell wall synthesis.. Nucleic Acids Res, 35(20), 6870-6883. View this article in WRRO
- Eckert C, Magnet S & Mesnage S (2007) The Enterococcus hirae Mur-2 enzyme displays N-acetylglucosaminidase activity.. FEBS Lett, 581(4), 693-696.
- Eckert C, Lecerf M, Dubost L, Arthur M & Mesnage S (2006) Functional analysis of AtlA, the major N-acetylglucosaminidase of Enterococcus faecalis.. J Bacteriol, 188(24), 8513-8519.
- Mylne JS, Barrett L, Tessadori F, Mesnage S, Johnson L, Bernatavichute YV, Jacobsen SE, Fransz P & Dean C (2006) LHP1, the Arabidopsis homologue of HETEROCHROMATIN PROTEIN1, is required for epigenetic silencing of FLC.. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 103(13), 5012-5017.
- Maillard AP, Biarrotte-Sorin S, Villet R, Mesnage S, Bouhss A, Sougakoff W, Mayer C & Arthur M (2005) Structure-based site-directed mutagenesis of the UDP-MurNAc-pentapeptide-binding cavity of the FemX alanyl transferase from Weissella viridescens.. J Bacteriol, 187(11), 3833-3838.
- Mignot T, Couture-Tosi E, Mesnage S, Mock M & Fouet A (2004) In vivo Bacillus anthracis gene expression requires PagR as an intermediate effector of the AtxA signalling cascade.. Int J Med Microbiol, 293(7-8), 619-624.
- Couture-Tosi E, Delacroix H, Mignot T, Mesnage S, Chami M, Fouet A & Mosser G (2002) Structural analysis and evidence for dynamic emergence of Bacillus anthracis S-layer networks.. J Bacteriol, 184(23), 6448-6456.
- Levy YY, Mesnage S, Mylne JS, Gendall AR & Dean C (2002) Multiple roles of Arabidopsis VRN1 in vernalization and flowering time control.. Science, 297(5579), 243-246.
- Mignot T, Mesnage S, Couture-Tosi E, Mock M & Fouet A (2002) Developmental switch of S-layer protein synthesis in Bacillus anthracis.. Mol Microbiol, 43(6), 1615-1627.
- Fouet A & Mesnage S (2002) Bacillus anthracis cell envelope components.. Curr Top Microbiol Immunol, 271, 87-113.
- Mesnage S & Fouet A (2002) Plasmid-encoded autolysin in Bacillus anthracis: modular structure and catalytic properties.. J Bacteriol, 184(1), 331-334.
- Mesnage S, Haustant M & Fouet A (2001) A general strategy for identification of S-layer genes in the Bacillus cereus group: molecular characterization of such a gene in Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. galleriae NRRL 4045.. Microbiology, 147(Pt 5), 1343-1351.
- Mesnage S (2001) Conserved anchoring mechanisms between crystalline cell surface S-layer proteins and secondary cell wall polymers in Gram-positive bacteria? Response. TRENDS MICROBIOL, 9(2), 49-50.
- Mesnage S, Fontaine T, Mignot T, Delepierre M, Mock M & Fouet A (2000) Bacterial SLH domain proteins are non-covalently anchored to the cell surface via a conserved mechanism involving wall polysaccharide pyruvylation.. EMBO J, 19(17), 4473-4484.
- Mesnage S, Weber-Levy M, Haustant M, Mock M & Fouet A (1999) Cell surface-exposed tetanus toxin fragment C produced by recombinant Bacillus anthracis protects against tetanus toxin.. Infect Immun, 67(9), 4847-4850.
- Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E, Mock M & Fouet A (1999) The S-layer homology domain as a means for anchoring heterologous proteins on the cell surface of Bacillus anthracis.. J Appl Microbiol, 87(2), 256-260.
- Fouet A, Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E, Gounon P & Mock M (1999) Bacillus anthracis surface: capsule and S-layer.. J Appl Microbiol, 87(2), 251-255.
- Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E & Fouet A (1999) Production and cell surface anchoring of functional fusions between the SLH motifs of the Bacillus anthracis S-layer proteins and the Bacillus subtilis levansucrase.. Mol Microbiol, 31(3), 927-936.
- Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E, Gounon P, Mock M & Fouet A (1998) The capsule and S-layer: two independent and yet compatible macromolecular structures in Bacillus anthracis.. J Bacteriol, 180(1), 52-58.
- Bahl H, Scholz H, Bayan N, Chami M, Leblon G, Gulik-Krzywicki T, Shechter E, Fouet A, Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E, Gounon P, Mock M, Conway de Macario E, Macario AJ, Fernández-Herrero LA, Olabarría G, Berenguer J, Blaser MJ, Kuen B, Lubitz W, Sára M, Pouwels PH, Kolen CP, Boot HJ & Resch S (1997) Molecular biology of S-layers.. FEMS Microbiol Rev, 20(1-2), 47-98.
- Mesnage S, Tosi-Couture E, Mock M, Gounon P & Fouet A (1997) Molecular characterization of the Bacillus anthracis main S-layer component: evidence that it is the major cell-associated antigen.. Mol Microbiol, 23(6), 1147-1155.
- el-Turk J, Asemota O, Leymarie J, Sallaud C, Mesnage S, Breda C, Buffard D, Kondorosi A & Esnault R (1996) Nucleotide sequences of four pathogen-induced alfalfa peroxidase-encoding cDNAs.. Gene, 170(2), 213-216.
Conference proceedings papers
- Bern MW, Beniston R & Mesnage S (2016) Automated Analysis of Bacterial Peptidoglycan Structure. GLYCOBIOLOGY, Vol. 26(12) (pp 1457-1457)