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Bacillus anthracis cell envelope components.

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Toxines et Pathogénie Bactériennes (URA 2172, CNRS), Institut Pasteur, 28 rue du Dr Roux, 75724, Paris, France.


Bacillus anthracis is a Gram-positive bacterium harboring a complex parietal architecture. The cytoplasmic membrane is surrounded by a thick peptidoglycan of the A1 gamma type. Only one associated polymer, a polysaccharide composed of galactose, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylmannosamine, is covalently linked to the peptidoglycan. Outside the cell wall is an S-layer. Two proteins can each compose the S-layer. They are noncovalently anchored to the cell wall polysaccharide by their SLH N-terminal domain. The poly-gamma-D-glutamate capsule, which covers the S-layer, has an antiphagocytic role and its synthesis is dependent on environmental factors mimicking the mammalian host, such as bicarbonate and a temperature of 37 degrees C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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