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Science. 2014 Jul 11;345(6193):220-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1254522.

Bacterial cell wall. MurJ is the flippase of lipid-linked precursors for peptidoglycan biogenesis.

Author information

1
Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
2
Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.
3
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA.
4
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
5
Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. thomas_bernhardt@hms.harvard.edu ruiz.82@osu.edu.
6
Department of Microbiology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH 43210, USA. thomas_bernhardt@hms.harvard.edu ruiz.82@osu.edu.

Abstract

Peptidoglycan (PG) is a polysaccharide matrix that protects bacteria from osmotic lysis. Inhibition of its biogenesis is a proven strategy for killing bacteria with antibiotics. The assembly of PG requires disaccharide-pentapeptide building blocks attached to a polyisoprene lipid carrier called lipid II. Although the stages of lipid II synthesis are known, the identity of the essential flippase that translocates it across the cytoplasmic membrane for PG polymerization is unclear. We developed an assay for lipid II flippase activity and used a chemical genetic strategy to rapidly and specifically block flippase function. We combined these approaches to demonstrate that MurJ is the lipid II flippase in Escherichia coli.

PMID:
25013077
PMCID:
PMC4163187
DOI:
10.1126/science.1254522
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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