Send to

Choose Destination
Biochimie. 2001 Jan;83(1):99-102.

Approaching the physiological functions of penicillin-binding proteins in Escherichia coli.

Author information

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks 58202-9037, USA.


A rigid shell of peptidoglycan encases and shapes bacteria and is constructed and maintained by a diverse set of enzymes, among which are the penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs). Although a great deal has been learned about how these proteins synthesize and modify peptidoglycan, the physiological functions of the multitude of bacterial PBPs remain enigmatic. We approached this problem by combining PBP mutations in a comprehensive manner and screening for effects on biochemical processes involving the passage of proteins or nucleic acids across the cell wall. The results indicate that the PBPs or their peptidoglycan product do have significant biological functions, including roles in determination of cell shape, in phage resistance, in induction of capsule synthesis, and in regulation of autolysis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center