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Chem Biol. 2014 Jan 16;21(1):67-85. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2013.11.011. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

Mycolic acids: structures, biosynthesis, and beyond.

Author information

1
Unité Mixte de Recherche 5089, Département Mécanismes Moléculaires des Infections Mycobactériennes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS), 205 Route de Narbonne, BP 64182, 31077 Toulouse, France; Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III, IPBS, 205 Route de Narbonne, BP 64182, 31077 Toulouse, France.
2
Unité Mixte de Recherche 5089, Département Mécanismes Moléculaires des Infections Mycobactériennes, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Institut de Pharmacologie et de Biologie Structurale (IPBS), 205 Route de Narbonne, BP 64182, 31077 Toulouse, France; Université de Toulouse, Université Paul Sabatier, Toulouse III, IPBS, 205 Route de Narbonne, BP 64182, 31077 Toulouse, France. Electronic address: mamadou.daffe@ipbs.fr.

Abstract

Mycolic acids are major and specific lipid components of the mycobacterial cell envelope and are essential for the survival of members of the genus Mycobacterium that contains the causative agents of both tuberculosis and leprosy. In the alarming context of the emergence of multidrug-resistant, extremely drug-resistant, and totally drug-resistant tuberculosis, understanding the biosynthesis of these critical determinants of the mycobacterial physiology is an important goal to achieve, because it may open an avenue for the development of novel antimycobacterial agents. This review focuses on the chemistry, structures, and known inhibitors of mycolic acids and describes progress in deciphering the mycolic acid biosynthetic pathway. The functional and key biological roles of these molecules are also discussed, providing a historical perspective in this dynamic area.

PMID:
24374164
DOI:
10.1016/j.chembiol.2013.11.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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