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Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2011 Dec;92(5):921-8. doi: 10.1007/s00253-011-3637-0. Epub 2011 Oct 20.

Murein and pseudomurein cell wall binding domains of bacteria and archaea--a comparative view.

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  • 1Department of Molecular Genetics, Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), University of Groningen, Nijenborgh 7, 9747 AG, Groningen, The Netherlands.


The cell wall, a major barrier protecting cells from their environment, is an essential compartment of both bacteria and archaea. It protects the organism from internal turgor pressure and gives a defined shape to the cell. The cell wall serves also as an anchoring surface for various proteins and acts as an adhesion platform for bacteriophages. The walls of bacteria and archaea are mostly composed of murein and pseudomurein, respectively. Cell wall binding domains play a crucial role in the non-covalent attachment of proteins to cell walls. Here, we give an overview of the similarities and differences in the biochemical and functional properties of the two major murein and pseudomurein cell wall binding domains, i.e., the Lysin Motif (LysM) domain (Pfam PF01476) and the pseudomurein binding (PMB) domain (Pfam PF09373) of bacteria and archaea, respectively.

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