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J Bacteriol. 2007 Aug;189(15):5634-41. Epub 2007 May 25.

An anhydro-N-acetylmuramyl-L-alanine amidase with broad specificity tethered to the outer membrane of Escherichia coli.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Biology and Microbiology, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


From its amino acid sequence homology with AmpD, we recognized YbjR, now renamed AmiD, as a possible second 1,6-anhydro-N-acetylmuramic acid (anhMurNAc)-l-alanine amidase in Escherichia coli. We have now confirmed that AmiD is an anhMurNAc-l-Ala amidase and demonstrated that AmpD and AmiD are the only enzymes present in E. coli that are able to cleave the anhMurNAc-l-Ala bond. The activity was present only in the outer membrane fraction obtained from an ampD mutant. In contrast to AmpD, which is specific for the anhMurNAc-l-alanine bond, AmiD also cleaved the bond between MurNAc and l-alanine in both muropeptides and murein sacculi. Unlike the periplasmic murein amidases, AmiD did not participate in cell separation. ampG mutants, which are unable to import GlcNAc-anhMurNAc-peptides into the cytoplasm, released mainly peptides into the medium due to AmiD activity, whereas an ampG amiD double mutant released a large amount of intact GlcNAc-anhMurNAc-peptides into the medium.

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