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Curr Opin Microbiol. 2003 Dec;6(6):594-9.

Role of penicillin-binding proteins in bacterial cell morphogenesis.

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Department of Biology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA.


The penicillin-binding proteins (PBPs) polymerize and modify peptidoglycan, the stress-bearing component of the bacterial cell wall. As part of this process, the PBPs help to create the morphology of the peptidoglycan exoskeleton together with cytoskeleton proteins that regulate septum formation and cell shape. Genetic and microscopic studies reveal clear morphological responsibilities for class A and class B PBPs and suggest that the mechanism of shape determination involves differential protein localization and interactions with specific cell components. In addition, the low molecular weight PBPs, by varying the substrates on which other PBPs act, alter peptidoglycan synthesis or turnover, with profound effects on morphology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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