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Nature. 2014 Feb 27;506(7489):507-10. doi: 10.1038/nature12892. Epub 2013 Dec 11.

A new metabolic cell-wall labelling method reveals peptidoglycan in Chlamydia trachomatis.

Author information

1
1] Department of Microbiology and Immunology, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA [2].
2
1] Interdisciplinary Biochemistry Program, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA [2].
3
Department of Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.
4
Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana 47405, USA.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunology, F. Edward Hébert School of Medicine, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, 4301 Jones Bridge Road, Bethesda, Maryland 20814-4799, USA.

Abstract

Peptidoglycan (PG), an essential structure in the cell walls of the vast majority of bacteria, is critical for division and maintaining cell shape and hydrostatic pressure. Bacteria comprising the Chlamydiales were thought to be one of the few exceptions. Chlamydia harbour genes for PG biosynthesis and exhibit susceptibility to 'anti-PG' antibiotics, yet attempts to detect PG in any chlamydial species have proven unsuccessful (the 'chlamydial anomaly'). We used a novel approach to metabolically label chlamydial PG using d-amino acid dipeptide probes and click chemistry. Replicating Chlamydia trachomatis were labelled with these probes throughout their biphasic developmental life cycle, and the results of differential probe incorporation experiments conducted in the presence of ampicillin are consistent with the presence of chlamydial PG-modifying enzymes. These findings culminate 50 years of speculation and debate concerning the chlamydial anomaly and are the strongest evidence so far that chlamydial species possess functional PG.

PMID:
24336210
PMCID:
PMC3997218
DOI:
10.1038/nature12892
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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