0 × 107 cells ml-1 (Fig. 3). While the maximum cell density was approximately one order of magnitude lower than in BSK-II containing 7% boiled rabbit serum, the growth pattern was the same as that observed previously with chitin substrates (compare Fig. 3 with Fig. 1). Of note, cells cultured without GlcNAc in this serum-free medium only reached a maximum cell density of 8.0 × 105 cells ml-1 in the second exponential phase, which is more than one order of magnitude lower than that observed in medium containing 7% serum. Growth of a β-N-acetylhexosaminidase
and β-glucosidase double mutant on chitin GDC-0973 in vivo bb0002 (putative β-N-acetylhexosaminidase) and bb0620 (putative β-glucosidase) are the only obvious genes annotated in the B. burgdorferi genome that encode enzymes potentially involved in the degradation of chitin. We generated mutations
in bb0002 and bb0620 to determine if eliminating the function of either or both of these genes would result in a defect in chitobiose or chitin utilization (see Methods). Both of the single mutant strains and the double mutant strain were cultured in BSK-II containing 7% boiled rabbit serum, lacking GlcNAc and supplemented with 75 μM chitobiose or Mdm2 antagonist 25 μM chitohexose. As expected from a previous report , the bb0002 mutant (RR04) showed no defect in chitobiose utilization, and no defect in the ability of this mutant to utilize GSK2118436 research buy chitohexose was observed (data not shown). Similar results were also obtained for the bb0620 mutant, RR53 (data not shown). The double mutant (RR60) also showed no defect in chitobiose or chitohexose utilization (Fig. 4), suggesting that either these genes are not involved in chitin degradation or that a redundant activity is encoded elsewhere in the genome. We also attempted to generate mutants in two genes with LysM motifs
(bb0262 and bb0761) since LysM domains are involved in binding to peptidoglycan and chitin, typically through the GlcNAc moiety . We constructed a bb0761 mutant, RVX-208 but it showed no defect in utilization of GlcNAc oligomers when cultured in BSK-II lacking GlcNAc and supplemented with 7% boiled rabbit serum and chitobiose or chitohexose (data not shown). Several attempts to generate a bb0262 mutant were unsuccessful suggesting this may be an essential gene due to a role in cell wall synthesis or remodeling. Figure 4 β-N-acetylhexosaminidase ( bb0002 ) and β-glucosidase ( bb0620 ) double mutant utilizes chitin. Growth of RR60 (double mutant) in the presence of chitobiose or chitohexose. Late-log phase cells were diluted to 1.0 × 105 cells ml-1 in BSK-II containing 7% boiled serum, lacking GlcNAc and supplemented with the following substrates: 1.5 mM GlcNAc (closed circle), No addition (open circle), 75 μM chitobiose (closed triangle) or 25 μM chitohexose (open triangle). Cells were enumerated daily by darkfield microscopy. This is a representative experiment that was repeated twice.