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Science. 2001 Oct 12;294(5541):361-4. Epub 2001 Aug 23.

Genetic basis for activity differences between vancomycin and glycolipid derivatives of vancomycin.

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Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ 08544, USA.


Small molecules that affect specific protein functions can be valuable tools for dissecting complex cellular processes. Peptidoglycan synthesis and degradation is a process in bacteria that involves multiple enzymes under strict temporal and spatial regulation. We used a set of small molecules that inhibit the transglycosylation step of peptidoglycan synthesis to discover genes that help to regulate this process. We identified a gene responsible for the susceptibility of Escherichia coli cells to killing by glycolipid derivatives of vancomycin, thus establishing a genetic basis for activity differences between these compounds and vancomycin.

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