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Chapter 19 : The Cell Wall of

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Abstract:

This chapter focuses on biochemical and genetic aspects of covalently linked components of the pneumococcal cell wall. Historically, studies of the pneumococcal cell wall were motivated by such unique features as the presence of choline in the teichoic acids (TAs), the pleiomorphic changes that accompany removal or alteration of choline residues, and structural changes in peptidoglycan that are associated with penicillin resistance. Most recent contributions to the field include immunofluorescence microscopic localization of cell wall synthetic enzymes at sites of wall synthesis, identification of genetic determinants and enzymes that are involved with the synthesis of muropeptide branches, sortase-dependent attachment of proteins, removal of N-acetyl groups from N-acetyl hexosamine residues in the cell wall glycan chains, and removal of phosphoryl choline residues from TAs. The chapter discusses functional anatomy of the cell wall. A considerable clarification concerning determinants of cell wall structure and its relationship to penicillin resistance was obtained by the recent identification of theoperon, which encodes enzymes involved in the synthesis of branched structured muropeptides in the pneumococcal peptidoglycan. Choline is an essential growth factor for all natural isolates of pneumococci, which have to import this nutrient from the growth medium. In this hypothesis, the nutritional requirement for choline resides in a recognition site of the transferase for phospho-amino-alcohols on TA, which may have been altered in the choline-independent strains.

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1
FIGURE 1

Diagrammatic sketch of the cell wall membrane complex of pneumococci. Pneumococcal surface protein (PspA) is shown as an example of a surface protein with a choline-binding signature.

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19
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Image of FIGURE 2
FIGURE 2

Role of MurM and MurN in cell wall branching. The substrate of the MurM- and MurN-catalyzed branching reaction is lipid II, which is composed of -acetylated disaccharide units of glucosamine (hexagon with G) and muramic acid (hexagon with M) with the pentapeptide chain attached to the M residues. Lipid II is anchored on the plasma membrane through the carrier lipid bactoprenyl pyrophosphate (the zig-zag line). Attachment of the completed precursor to the preexisting cell wall occurs on the outer surface of the plasma membrane by the activity of transglycosylases and transpeptidases. (Reproduced with permission from reference .)

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19
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Image of FIGURE 3a
FIGURE 3a

HPLC elution profiles (A) and structures (B) of stem peptides of the peptidoglycan from the penicillin-susceptible strain R36A and several penicillin-resistant strains that carry different abnormal alleles. Structures of cell wall stem peptides identified in the pneumococcal peptidoglycan of penicillin-susceptible and -resistant strains of pneumococci. (Reproduced with permission from reference .)

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19
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Image of FIGURE 3b
FIGURE 3b

HPLC elution profiles (A) and structures (B) of stem peptides of the peptidoglycan from the penicillin-susceptible strain R36A and several penicillin-resistant strains that carry different abnormal alleles. Structures of cell wall stem peptides identified in the pneumococcal peptidoglycan of penicillin-susceptible and -resistant strains of pneumococci. (Reproduced with permission from reference .)

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19
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References

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Tables

Generic image for table
TABLE 1

Cell wall peptide composition of several strains of

Reproduced from reference with permission.

Citation: Tomasz A, Fischer W. 2006. The Cell Wall of , p 230-240. In Fischetti V, Novick R, Ferretti J, Portnoy D, Rood J (ed), Gram-Positive Pathogens, Second Edition. ASM Press, Washington, DC. doi: 10.1128/9781555816513.ch19

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