Glycerol uptake is important for L-form formation and persistence in Staphylococcus aureus

Jian Han, Lili He, Wanliang Shi, Xiaogang Xu, Sen Wang, Shuo Zhang, Ying Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


S. aureus is a significant human pathogen and has previously been shown to form cell wall deficient forms or L-forms in vitro and in vivo during infection. Despite many previous studies on S. aureus L-forms, the mechanisms of L-form formation in this organism remain unknown. Here we established the L-form model in S. aureus and constructed a transposon mutant library to identify genes involved in L-form formation. Screening of the library for mutants defective in L-form formation identified glpF involved in glycerol uptake being important for L-form formation in S. aureus. Consistent with this observation, glpF was found to be highly expressed in L-form S. aureus but hardly expressed in normal walled form. In addition, glpF mutant was found to be defective in antibiotic persistence. The defect in L-form formation and antibiotic persistence of the glpF mutant could be complemented by the wild type glpF gene. These findings provide new insight into the mechanisms of L-form formation and persistence in S. aureus and may have implications for development of new drugs targeting persisters for improved treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere108325
JournalPloS one
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 24 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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