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J Bacteriol. 2010 Mar;192(5):1459-62. doi: 10.1128/JB.01377-09. Epub 2010 Jan 8.

Tricarboxylic acid cycle-dependent synthesis of Staphylococcus aureus Type 5 and 8 capsular polysaccharides.

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  • 1Department of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska, 155 VBS, Fair St. and East Campus Loop, Lincoln, NE 68583-0905, USA.


Staphylococcus aureus capsule synthesis requires the precursor N-acetyl-glucosamine; however, capsule is synthesized during post-exponential growth when the availability of N-acetyl-glucosamine is limited. Capsule biosynthesis also requires aerobic respiration, leading us to hypothesize that capsule synthesis requires tricarboxylic acid cycle intermediates. Consistent with this hypothesis, S. aureus tricarboxylic acid cycle mutants fail to make capsule.

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