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FEMS Microbiol Lett. 2000 May 1;186(1):11-9.

Osmoregulated periplasmic glucans in Proteobacteria.

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Laboratoire de Chimie Biologique, CNRS UMR 8576, Université des Sciences et Technologies de Lille, 59655, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


Large amounts of osmoregulated periplasmic glucans (OPGs) are found in the periplasmic space of Proteobacteria. Four families of OPGs are described on the basis of structural features of the polyglucose backbone. Depending on the species considered, OPGs can be modified to various extent by a variety of substituents. Genes governing the backbone synthesis are identified in a limited number of species. They belong to three unrelated families. OPG synthesis is subject to osmoregulation and feedback control. Osmoregulation can occur at the level of gene expression and/or at the level of enzyme activity. Mutants defective in OPG synthesis have a highly pleiotropic phenotype, indicative of an overall alteration of their envelope properties. Mutants of this kind were obtained as attenuated or avirulent derivatives of plant or animals pathogen. Thus, OPGs appear to be important intrinsic components of the Gram-negative bacterial envelope, which can be essential in extreme conditions found in nature, and especially when bacteria must interact with an eukaryotic host.

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